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PDP Has Confidence In INEC Chairman– Adamu Mu’azu
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said that it has confidence in the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Attahiru Jega, thereby denouncing the statement made by the party’s presidential campaign spokesperson, Femi Fani-Kayode, who earlier implied that the party had lost confidence in the electoral umpire.
Chairman of the PDP, Adamu Mu’azu, told reporters at a media briefing on Thursday that it so far has no reason to question the credibility of the INEC chairman.
Femi Fani – Kayode had complained about what he said was a deliberate attempt by INEC to favour the opposition through the distribution of more Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs in the north than other parts of the country.
Fani – Kayode also accused Jega of holding secret meetings with chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC to perfect how to manipulate the election for the opposition party.
“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,” he alleged.
However, the PDP chairman saw things differently, saying that the party believes that Jega and his team in INEC would conduct free and fair election in March.
“You asked if the party has confidence in Jega. My answer is not far-fetched,” Mu’azu said, adding that President Goodluck Jonathan also support INEC.
“The President stated during his media chat last night (Wednesday) that he has confidence in Jega…We also have confidence in Jega and that he and his team will conduct free, fair and transparent elections,” the PDP chairman stated.
The reason given by Jega for the postponement of the elections, however, did not sit well with Mu’azu, who said the commission only capitalised on the security situation in the northeast to mask its non-preparedness.
“Although we tend to agree with INEC on the security reasons given for the postponement, we are nevertheless not unmindful of the fact that the commission on its own part was not fully prepared for the February 14 election date,” Mu’azu said
He noted: “Taking the INEC chairman, Jega, on his own words, for the 68.8 million registered voters, the commission had only printed and delivered 66.3 million Permanent Voter Cards with 1.3 million yet to be delivered and 1.1 million stolen cards yet to be replaced.
“Also according to Jega, 45.09 million voters cards were collected by prospective voters, representing 65.8 per cent of the registered voters and 23.71 million PVCs, representing 34.2 per cent, were yet to be collected as at February 7, which is exactly one week to the February 14 earlier scheduled date. Compare this anomaly with the 2011 elections where not a single eligible voter was disenfranchised.”
Mu’azu, therefore concluded that INEC “could not sincerely claim to have been fully prepared for a desirable credible, free and fair election at the time when more than 23 million registered voters were going to be disenfranchised.”