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Group urges Jega to resign over alleged poor preparation for polls


A PRESSIURE group, Coalition for Democratic Nigeria (CDN) has called on the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega to step aside if he cannot guarantee all eligible voters the right to exercise their civic responsibilities in the forthcoming elections.

   Coordinator of the group, Dr. Adegbola Dominic in a statement Tuesday urged the INEC boss to allow for the use of Temporary Voters Cards (TVCs) for those who are unable to get their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) owing to the shoddy preparation by the electoral body.

   According to Dominic, the group is not interested in Jega’s removal as INEC boss but worried over what will become the fate of millions of Nigerians who are yet to collect their PVCs, which is the only criteria for voting.

   “In a couple of days, it will be the 8th of March, the last day set by INEC for the collection of Permanent Voters Cards. However, millions of Nigerians are still milling around, back and forth INEC collection centres in search of their PVCs which have proved intractable.

     “Meanwhile, INEC has repeatedly updated the nation with percentage figures of distribution and collection of PVCs, which it put at 78.9 per cent in the last instance. This still leaves about 14 million Nigerians potentially disenfranchised. This is absolutely unacceptable. 

 Percentages could be relevant perhaps when considering voter-turn out. However for any election to be credible, it must be transparently free and fair, with all eligible voters freely exercising their franchise as it happened in 2011 general elections and in the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states under the watch of Prof Jega- 100 per cent of them, not 78.9 per cent.”

   “It is unlikely that this state of affairs can be reversed by the 8th of March 2015, or even beyond.”

   He said, “We support the use of PVCs and card readers if they function properly because it will help to detect fraud during the voting exercise.”

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