Tuesday, 24 February 2015

News Release: INEC Must Brace Up For A Free, Fair And Credible Election Ahead Of March 28th Date

The National Democratic Vanguard (NDV) is constrained to once again call the attention of the Nigeria public to the continuous unpreparedness of the Independent National Electoral Commision (INEC) towards ensuring a free, fair and credible 2015 elections in Nigeria. Despite the postponement of the earlier scheduled date of February 14th, Nigerians have expected an improvement in the shoddy preparations by INEC which was largely responsible for the earlier postponement. It is on record that Professor Jega himself while appearing before the Nigeria Senate admitted that the postponement was a blessing in disguise with the confession that as at the earlier scheduled date of February 14th, over One million PVCs were yet to be printed while other critical issues such as the training of adhoc staff on the use of the card readers were yet to be addressed. 

The various lapses in the continuous distribution and collection of permanent voter’s card (PVC) is an indication that Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) remains unprepared for the general elections even as the new date of March 28 approaches. There is no doubt that this is a deliberate ploy of INEC to rig the 2015 elections, based on several revelations on the romance by the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega with certain elements within the Nigeria opposition party, All Progressive Congress (APC).

Events of the last few days have exposed INEC of collaborating with the APC in some of its stronghold through situations where INEC officials have compromised the distribution process by giving chunks of PVC to unidentified individuals for collection by proxy and sometimes through home delivery to persons known only to be sympathetic to the APC. This act has since rendered a judicious accountability of the PVC susceptible to corruption and foul play.

We insist that with Professor Attahiru Jega at the helms of affairs of the commission, a lot of eligible Nigerians will end up being disenfranchised.  Recent revelations including how cards belonging to persons in certain localities and States find their way to other distant locations calls for serious questioning. For instance, the recent claim by the Resident Electoral Commissioner REC of Cross Rivers state that he was called by his colleague in Kebbi and alerted him of the presence of bags of PVCs belonging to Cross River state voters in Kebbi State and similar allegation by the Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun that over 600,000 PVCs sent to Ogun state were not for voters in the State shows clearly that there is an attempt to frustrate eligible voters and deny them of their rights.

Meanwhile, we urge the Federal government to intensify efforts at improving on the security situation in the country particularly in the insurgency ravaged region. This remains a key factor that can guarantee that the constitutional requirement of election taking place in every part of the country is fulfilled. Issues of political violence that persists across the country must be addressed and assurance must be given to Nigerians that their lives and properties will be secured before, during and after the scheduled day of March 28 and April 11, 2015.

Finally, we urge Nigerians to sustain the demand for a truly Independent electoral commission that can guarantee a credible election against what the Professor Jega's INEC currently represents.


Kola Salau
for: National Democratic Vanguard NDV

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