By Jonah Nkwopoku
Lagos—National Coordinator, Move on Nigeria, Clem Aguiyi has said the success or failure of the forthcoming general elections lies with the chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega.
Aguiyi, who stated this during a media chat in Lagos, said “only Jega and Jega can guarantee the success or otherwise of the 2015 general elections. Jega’s poor narrative surreptitiously draws the Nigerian military into the fray and for a country that has had its full dose of military disruptions it is ominous at the least to suggest that the military are beginning to fiddle with our democracy.”
Aguiyi noted that the INEC under Jega was poorly prepared for the elections and that the elections were never postponed because of insecurity as claimed by Jega.
He said “If Prof. Jega had gone ahead to conduct the presidential election on February 14, over 26 million Nigerians would have been disenfranchised, since they have not been issued with their PVC cards. The need to avoid the preclusion of these 26 million Nigerians ought to have been the overriding perspective for the postponement of the elections.
”Days after the rescheduled election, the efficacy of the card readers that were to be deployed for the elections have not been field-tested and contingencies and protocol for mitigating real time challenges have also not been mapped out, as such to predicate the future of Nigeria on an untested solution is at once reckless and totally irresponsible.”
“When we interrogate further on all events surrounding this year’s election preparation, some startling revelations come to the fore. The guidelines for the collection of PVC cards insist that the individual must collect the card personally and have his finger print match the records on the INEC database. This requirement ensured that collection of cards by proxies was not allowed. We have it on good authority that this requirement was not followed in the North East and North West part of Nigeria and in Lagos considered as APC strongholds. INEC merely handed over the cards to local chiefs and APC party chieftains. This flagrantly negates the rules that INEC set for the collection of the cards and this undue advantage was not extended to other parts of the country, nor was it admitted as a new policy shift.