2015: Jonathan promises free, fair poll

Abuja – President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday assured
the international community that his government will stage
free and credible elections next year, a statement said.
“We received international commendations for the conduct
of the 2011 general elections and I can assure you that the
2015 general elections will be even better,” his office quoted
him as saying.
Jonathan made the comments while
receiving four ambassadors newly
appointed to Nigeria.
But it came as Boko Haram’s leader
Abubakar Shekau released a new video
denying military claims of his death which
also depicted scenes of graphic violence,
including an amputation, a stoning to
death and a beheading.
The Islamist rebels are believed to be in
control of more than two dozen towns in
three states in the northeast, which have been under a state
of emergency since May last year.
If the dire security crisis in the northeast does not improve,
experts doubt that Nigeria will be able to organise voting
there on the February 14 polling day.
Excluding an entire region — and one likely to vote against
Jonathan — could raise questions about the credibility of
the poll.
In addition, Nigeria has a checkered history of electoral
performance, with many votes marred by malpractice,
violence and military interference.
More than 800 people, mostly supporters of the opposition,
died in violence following the 2011 vote.
Jonathan is expected to formally declare his re-election bid
in the coming months.

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