LAGOS: THE National Democratic Vanguard (NDV) alleged an attempt by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, to manipulate the outcome of the upcoming general election. Michael Asukwo, Publicity Secretary of the organisation, alleged the first attempt at perpetrating the plot was his alleged unilateral decision to create 31 000 new polling units majority of which were to be located in the Northeast and Northwest zones of Nigeria, his region of origin.
“This is where his present manipulation emanates from. This was brought to a halt after public outcry by the Civil Society and the Nigerian public,” said Asukwo. “It is also alarming that the INEC boss has repeatedly misinformed Nigerians on the success of the distribution of the Permanent Voters Card PVc. From all indication this has been largely regarded as a failure because of INEC’s inability to provide the PVCs for many eligible registered voters.”
Asukwo said moreover, the lop-sidedness in the distribution of the PVCs had further confirmed fears with the unusual higher percentage of PVCs distributed in the northern part of the country; particularly in the North Eastern region where insurgency had taken its toll.
According to him, most states in this region are reported to have collected over 80percent of PVCs in preparation for the election while states in the southern and north central zones had only recorded less than 53 percent on the average.
“It is important for Nigerians to be aware that all statistics so far being reeled out by Jega’s INEC are based on the number of cards delivered to the commission by the card printer and not on the basis of the total number of registered voters in the country.”
Asukwo thus expressed doubts of a credible election. “In view of these worrisome revelations, we make bold to ask who is Jega serving; the APC or the Nigerian People? Is he doing this because of his scheduled terminal leave ahead of retirement? Is this why he seeks to remain in control in order to execute the agreement with the APC before he leaves? We say that this election is about Nigeria. We hereby call on Nigerians to be vigilant and rise in unison to call Prof. Jega to orderto prevent the desperate moves to truncate democracy in Nigeria.”
While Jega could not be reached for comment, INEC has pledged its commitment to conduct credible polls.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY