Thursday, February 12, 2015


The plot to remove the chairman of the Independent National
Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, has
thickened as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
Presidential Campaign Council (PDPPCO) yesterday finally
alleged that he is working with the All Progressives
Congress (APC) ahead of the forthcoming election.
Director of media of the PDPPCO, Femi Fani-Kayode, who
made the allegation during a press conference, further
alleged that Jega met with some leaders of the APC in
However, when asked to provide evidence of these
allegations, Fani-Kayode declined, noting that he was aware
that the allegations were weighty and would expect Jega to
He threatened to pass a vote of no confidence on Jega if he
fails to respond to the allegations of partisanship and live
up to his responsibilities as an independent electoral
This is coming against the background of alleged moves to
either force the INEC chairman to resign or make him
proceed on terminal leave from March 1, in anticipation of
the end of his tenure in office on June 30.
However, the spokesman of the PDPPCO stated that Jega
deliberately refused to tell Nigerians the whole truth about
the postponement, “thus providing the APC a questionable
platform to accuse us of complicity in the decision to
postpone the elections”.
He added that the statistics of Permanent Voter Card (PVC)
collection for states and geo-political zones before the
postponement of the elections buttressed “Jega’s contrived
grand conspiratorial alliance with the APC to fraudulently
secure victory in the elections”.
He continued, “We must state here and again that the
decision to postpone the elections was INEC’s since it is
constitutionally saddled with that responsibility.
“The commission has done just that and it had at the press
conference hinted that it was having challenges with the
distribution and collection of the Permanent Voter Cards
(PVCs). The commission had claimed substantial readiness
for the general elections despite that as at 5th February,
2015, the total number of PVCs collected was 45, 829, 808,
representing 66.58% of the total number of registered
“We had immediately commended the INEC on the grounds
that the postponement would enable the 23 million eligible
voters who had not collected their PVCs to do so before the
new dates announced for the elections.
“But we have now realised how Professor Jega had
disingenuously presented the reasons for the postponement
of the elections at the press conference, making it look as if
the problem was mainly security. We would like to say that
the major issue that informed INEC’s decision was the
deliberate attempt by the commission to disenfranchise
over 23 million eligible voters who are yet to collect their
“The matter is that INEC has failed in its responsibility to
produce and distribute PVCs to about 34 per cent of
registered voters who would require the cards to vote in the
elections. “We express our concerns today that Jega may
have decided to aid the APC to rig the forthcoming elections
through the manipulation of the production, distribution and
collection of PVCs such that emerging trends have
consistently shown calculated attempts to deprive parts of
the country that would traditionally vote for President
Jonathan of their PVCs whilst the parts of the country that
would traditionally vote for the APC presidential candidate,
General Muhammadu Buhari, are already armed with their
We Don’t Join Issues With Political Parties – INEC
Meanwhile, The Independent National Electoral Commission
(INEC) yesterday asked the PDP to produce evidence that its
chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, is working with the opposition
The chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, Kayode
Idowu, said as much as the commission does not join
issues with political parties, any allegations made against
its chairman must be backed by evidence.
“INEC does not join issues with political parties. If you have
evidence of such activity, bring it forward.
“INEC is an umpire. It cannot afford to be joining issues
with political parties it is umpiring, otherwise you will not be
able to do its job. This commission is focused on
conducting elections on March 28 and April 11. We will not
be distracted”, he said.
“Our Campaign Organisation would want Professor Jega to
answer the following questions:
“Why are the PVC collection rates in the North Central,
South-South, South West and South East much lower with
the highest being 57%? Is it because these geopolitical
zones may be pro-Jonathan? Why does the North West zone
which includes Katsina (Buhari’s home state) have the
highest collection rate of 80%?
“How come the North East also has 75% collection rate
when, in fact, three states in this zone, Adamawa, Borno and
Yobe, have been under the attack of Boko Haram
insurgents, a development that has led to the displacement
of many residents? Did the Internally Displaced Persons
come back there to collect their PVCs?
“Why is it that North Central zone, which includes states like
Plateau and Benue that traditionally vote PDP, has a
collection rate of 48% when North East and North West have
between 75 and 80% collection rates?
“INEC would have us believe that as far back as January
2014, the PVC distribution would be done in phases.
”Can Jega explain to Nigerians how Kano, Adamawa, Borno,
Kaduna and Katsina, which were slated for Phase 3 and
actually kicked off in November 2014, have achieved a
75-80% PVC collection rate whilst many states slated for
Phases 1 and 2 and even some others in Phase 3 are still in
the 40-50% collection rate range?”
Commenting on the allegation that Jega held meetings with
APC stalwarts, Fani-Kayode said “pieces of information at
our disposal have shown that Jega has had meetings with
APC stalwarts in Dubai and other cities in the world to
perfect this wanton conspiracy against 23 million eligible
voters. Besides, we have information that the PVCs that
Nigerians are scrambling for are not in Nigeria and will not
arrive before the elections. These PVCs are still in China
and Prof Jega has strategically delayed their arrival to suit
his electioneering permutations.
“Can Prof Jega show Nigerians proof that the Chinese
company printing the PVCs has been paid in full by
disclosing the total contract sum and the amount paid to
date? Can Prof Jega show proof of arrival or expected date
of arrival of all PVCs for the elections? Can Prof Jega tell
Nigerians how he could have distributed 23 million PVCs
within 5days to election if there hadn’t been a
“The pieces are beginning to fall into place:Could this be
why Prof Jega has refused to allow citizens use their
temporary voter cards despite pleas from the National
Assembly and well-meaning Nigerians? Does it make sense
to disenfranchise 23 million citizens (a third of the eligible
voters) because INEC says it wants to avoid rigging? The
2011 elections were adjudged the most transparent by
Nigerians, the international community and the INEC
chairman himself without the use of PVCs. So what has
“Is this why APC leaders and members insist on non-
postponement of the elections even when they know that 23
million Nigerians may not vote? Do they know something we
do not know?
“Prof Jega said on National Television on 23rd of January
2015 that INEC is doing everything possible to ensure that
before the end of January all the cards have been produced
and made available. That deadline of end of January has
come and gone and we still do not have the PVCs. Is he
being sincere?
“We hereby challenge Prof Jega to be honourable and
transparent. He should publish accurate information on the
state of PVCs: how many PVCs are in the country? Where
are they located state by state? When would the others
arrive from China? How does he plan to distribute them
before elections?”
”Prof Jega should respond to these allegations of
partisanship and ineptitude, and live up to his
responsibilities as an independent election umpire. If he
refuses to do so, we may end up losing confidence in him.”

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