Rochas, Mimiko Confuse Nigerians On Outcome Of National Council Meeting



…As INEC Keeps Tight-Lip







Layiwola Tella




CONFLICTING reports have trailed the National Council of States meeting held in Abuja on Thursday, to discuss issues affecting the country, and particularly the much talked about possible postponement of the elections.

After meeting for over hours, the council did not seem to agree on a clear-cut decision, as two Governors, Rochas Okorocha of Imo State And Ondo’s Olusegun Mimiko contradicted each other at separate interviews after the long meeting.

Speaking with a cross section of journalists, Okorocha said that the Independent National Electoral Commission -INEC assured the Council on its readiness to conduct the elections.

Giving the impression that the elections would hold as scheduled, the Imo State Governor quoted INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, as saying that ‘’the distribution of the permanent voter cards was going well.’’

Okorocha also said that the country’s security chiefs expressed their readiness for the elections.

He said it was however, agreed at the meeting that, elections could be shifted in areas ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency.

Meanwhile, in a separate chat with journalists on the outcome of the meeting, Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko contradicted Okorocha’s statement, saying INEC was advised by the council to embark on consultations with stakeholders to look into possibilities of postponing the elections.

Governor Mimiko said INEC would make its decision known to the public later.

“Council of State in a meeting close to seven hours, essentially the state of preparedness of INEC was on the table. INEC had the benefit of input from council members and security chiefs and agencies,’’ he said.

“And based on the very exhaustive discussion and pieces of advice, INEC is constitutionally empowered with the basis of discussions, brief the nation and then the news will be communicated to you.”

With this, anxious electorates would have to wait for further instruction from the electoral body to find out if the general elections would still hold as scheduled.

Present at the meeting, which was presided over by president Goodluck Jonathan, were all living former Heads of State including, Shehu Shagari, Yakubu Gowon, Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar and Interim National Government President Ernest Shonekan with the exception of President Jonathan’s predecessor, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

Others were Senate President, David Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, State Governors, FCT Minister Bala Muhammed and the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke.

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