Published On: Sat, Jan 24th, 2015

Trouble in INEC: Jega At War With Commissioners, Directors


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Information available to 247ureports.com obtained through competent sources knowledgeable of the activities inside the executive offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] indicates that the INEC executive team are operating under significant distress that may disrupt the smooth conduct of the upcoming 2015 general elections. The INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega and the eleven national commissioners including the Directors are at daggers-drawn over unresolved issues that threatens disenfranchisement of select geopolitical regions.

At the center of the brewing quarrel is what appears to be a growing suspicion from some of the Commissioners and Directors of southern extraction towards the INEC Chairman and the other Commissioners of northern extraction.  The suspicion, according to one of the Commissioners who spoke to our reporter, is principally based on Professor Jega’s unexplained eagerness to adopt policies favorable to the expansion of the northern geopolitical region’s voting strength. The commissioner pointed to the botched attempt by Prof Jega’s at arbitrarily increasing the polling units in the geopolitical regions of the north. “We had to fight the Chairman to the point of shouting match”, explained the Commissioner who continued that the Chairman seemed “determined to increase the polling units, and would not listen to any of us at the several closed door meetings. Instead he told us that only a court decision will stop him from increasing the polling units”.

The PVCs

The PVCs

The INEC Chairman was unable to deliver on his arbitrary quest. After a month of internal struggles with his lieutenants, the INEC Chairman dropped the idea reluctantly and grudgingly. Prof Jega, as a result of his inability to carry out his agenda decided to shutout the protesting Commissioners responsible to faulting the agenda. “He stopped talking to them [commissioners from the south]”. The relationship among the commissioners took a regional face with the southern commissioners suspicious of the northern commissioners who appear to have formed a click with the Chairman – along religious lines.

The northern commissioners including the Chairman – are seven [7] in number while the southern commissioners are only five [5].

Protesting PVC distribution failures

Protesting PVC distribution failures

The cold relationship worsened with the commencement of the distribution of the permanent voters card [PVC]. The distribution, according to the commissioner led to near physical confrontation between one of Jega’s close ally, Dr. Mohammad Wali [Chairman of Tender’s Board] from Sokoto and one of the commissioners from the south.  It was revealed that the ‘shouting-match’ ensued as the modalities for the distribution by the INEC was marshalled out to the agents on the field – instructing that the PVCs should be delivered to the various INEC offices at the Local Government Area headquarters for the registered voters to pick up/collect – with the presentation of a valid identification card. The southern commissioner discovered that the rules for the distribution for the PVCs were different for the northern geopolitical regions – the rules were relaxed to enable easy distribution of the PVCs to the populace.

According to the commissioner, the PVCs dispatched to Gombe, Kebbi, Zamfara, Bauchi, Jigawa, Sokoto, Yobe, Kano, Plateau, Nasarawa, Katsina and Kaduna [12 states] were accompanied by an agent of Dr. Wali. The PVCs were not delivered to the INEC officer at the local government headquarters – rather it was registered at the INEC office at the local government headquarters and then delivered to the local chiefs and local Imams to complete the distribution to the masses. The PVCs were then recorded as having been collected by registered voters. As at January 7, 2015, INEC data showed that 83% of the registered voters in the 12 states have collected their PVCs. [See table below]

jega ta

In the remainder of the States where the PVCs were delivered/dumped at the INEC office at the local government headquarters for onward distribution – a much lower percentage of PVCs collected were reported. In Lagos, Edo, Abuja, Enugu, Anambra, Ogun, Oyo and Ondo, only 57% of the PVCs have been collected. [See table below]

jega ta 2

When the commissioners and directors got wind of the development and what appeared a structured discrepancy on the part of the INEC Chairman and the commissioners working in cohorts with him, they cried foul. Some of the commissioners took their frustrations to the desk of the President through alternate means – warning the President that ‘something was eerie’ in the manner the INEC chairman was readying for the February 14 polls. According to the source, the group of concerned officers within the INEC were successful in getting their concerns across to the presidency. “The president was shocked and visibly angry in utter disbelief” said the source who continued that the president then ordered for an immediate update on the status of PVC distribution. “What he saw confirmed what the commissioners had told him”.

The commissioner went on to state that it was the concerned commissioners who advised the President to consider seeking for a postponement of the election date from February 14 to sometime in April – without subverting existing electoral laws. The commissioner claimed that they advised the President to seek for shift in date in order to properly distribute the PVCs in a fashion that would ensure that up to 90% of the PVCs are distributed to the registered voter. Presently, only 71% of the PVCs have been collected nationwide. Presently, 15.6million registered voters are yet to collect their PVCs.

Meanwhile, Jega remains adamant that the date of February 14 will not be moved. In a statement to Journalists on January 23, he indicated that the PVC distribution will continue till the eve of the presidential election.  The INEC Chairman expressed worry over the attitude of many eligible voters who have failed to show up to collect their voters card noting that the Commission should not be blamed when voters fail to collect their PVCs. “Yes we can even allow for the distribution of PVCs up to the eve of election day which is February 13 2015 but it will be good for voters to come and collect their PVC as soon as possible”.

Jega’s insistence comes against suggestions from the security service chiefs and the national security adviser – over the slow pace of PVC distribution and its implications to national security. His insistence has become a point of concern to many within the security circles who had once viewed Prof Jega as an upright incorruptible personality who was expected to understand the sensitive and volatile political climate in the country presently. A retired service chief who shared his concern with 247ureports.com did not shy away from labeling the body language of Jega and his refusal to level the playing field across all geopolitical regions as “highly tribalistic and unbecoming of a man like him

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  1. Why is APC insisting that the election must hold on Feb. 14, even when most nigerians especially in the south have not gotten their PVC’s? There’s no doubt that more PVC’s have been collected in the North than in the South because of the strict rules giving by Jega, which the adhoc staffs are adhering to in the South but mettled down in the North. Just yesterday, Jega said anyone without a PVC will not vote, which will certainly disenfrenchise a lot of people in the south. It is also a fact that in the north, muslims gets their PVC’s so easily than christians because their imams and village heads are involved in the distribution, instead of only the Corp members and adhoc staffs. In the appointment of INEC comissioners, there are more INEC comissioners from the northern muslims than christians in INEC. Jega has a lot of questions to answer. He started with creating more polling units in the north, even when people are fleeing from there to other parts of the country because of insurgency, without conducting any recent censor what makes him think the population of the north is more than that of the south as to allocate more polling unit? Jega must be seriously checked to avoid any bias and rigging the election for the opposition, so he can return power back to the north. As any attempt to do that, will spell doom for the country. If he’s perceived to be biased or favourably disposed to any candidate, tribe or religion, the president should immediately sack him and postpone the election.

  2. Eziokwubụndụ says:

    “I came back home and took along with me all the members of my family to collect their own…”- Isah Garba

    Including your underaged kids you registered. You see? The truth have a way of unravelling itself. Now tell me why you have to register your kids that are yet to reach the age of voting, when it’s against the law?

  3. Eziokwubụndụ says:

    “I came back home and took along with me all the members of my family to collect their own…”

    Including your underaged kids you registered. You see? The truth have a way of unravelling itself. Now tell me why you have to register your kids that are yet to reach the age of voting, when it’s against the law?

  4. yahya Dan says:

    the story is a lie.game plan to discredit prof. jega derisss Godooo

  5. Yazeed Abdullahi says:

    I reside in kumbotso l.g my poling unit chiranchi we HV not receive our PVC I was in l.g inec office last week Thursday and it was said they HV not receive d PVC from inec headquarters in abuja.I think is better they allowed us to use our temporary voters card than talking of postponement of election

  6. horace says:

    What the writer is saying is purely true. Confirm true.

  7. Gyang Danboyi says:

    It seems Jega is planning to be the greatest problem Nigeria will ever have. We also learnt that his private company printed the PVC & some sensitive election materials, if that is true then we are yet to see the biggest surprise and wonder of the 21st century.

    • Dr EKANEM says:

      Why do we believe in people deceiving people? We feel we should pull people down each time we can’t get our ways, we think everyone is as corrupt as we are. Pls leave Prof Jega alone.

  8. kusherki says:

    Small time crooks. They think with this type of chief blckmails they can get what they plan . Well u have failed. Election will hold on February take or not . We know u are for sale for corrupt bider

  9. Freeman says:

    Let the be shifted to next year, PDP will still fail.

  10. Isah Garba says:

    Actually, what these commissioners were saying is not true because I personally collected my own and on that very day I came back home and took along with me all the members of my family to collect their own because I saw their own but the officers refused to give me saying that I must came along with them to collect it personally because they were ask not to give one’s PVC another. But may be the commissioners has another agenda unknown to the general public, Prof. Jega stands on your feet to confirm your integrity.

  11. Isah Garba says:

    Actually, what these commissioners were saying is not true because I personally collected my own and on that very day I came back home and took along with me all the members of my family to collect their own because I saw their own but the officers refused to give me saying that I must came along with them to collect it personally because were ask not to give one’s photo anther. But may be the commissioners has another agenda unknown to the general public, Prof. Jega stands on your feet to confirm your integrity.

  12. Mohammed lamido says:

    it seems the writer is being sentimental or with holding some infor, he mention my states gombe among 11 others that jega throu his aid wali has conveyed pvc to this states directly to imam and cheifs of whch is not true. i collected mine at my local government inec office and same thing with my neighbor and friends. nigeria will surely over come this evils and their plots. best whishes for nigeria

  13. Ibrahim Muhammad says:

    Let me be frank and sincere here. What the commisioner said with regards the distribution of PVCs is completely a lie. Most places in Niger State have to be registered freshly e.g suleja, they claimed all datas are missing. I just saw on channels Tv that the government of Kano State is mobilizing people by going house to house to encourage people on the importance of collecting their PVCs. Also, in Ekiti state, so many people did not come to their centres for the collection of their PVCs, over 200,000.
    Publications like this is what brings about disunity. Am frm Niger State, precisely Bida and no member of my family have collected the PVC. We only have the temporary voters card.
    I believe the commissioner only want to be partisan by increasing the pressure already mounted on INEC. Thanks.