The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 accused the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Professor Attahiru Jega of holding secret meetings in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) with top stalwarts of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).
Making the allegation at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 was the Director of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, Femi Fani Kayode, who accused Jega of a lopsided distribution of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), stating that there was more PVCs distributed in pro-APC states as against states perceived to be in support of President Goodluck Jonathan.
While raising questions and challenging Jega to prove his innocence, Fani-Kayode debunked claims from some quarters that President Jonathan planned to install an interim government, describing it as part of APC propaganda and alarm raising tactics.
In his words: “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.
“Can Prof Jega show Nigerians proof that the Chinese company printing the PVCs has been paid in full by disclosing the total contract sum and the amount paid to date? Can Prof Jega show proof of arrival or expected date of arrival of all PVCs for the elections? Can Prof Jega tell Nigerians how he could have distributed 23 million PVCs within 5days to election if there hadn’t been a postponement?
“Could this be why Prof Jega has refused to allow citizens use their temporary voter cards despite pleas from the National Assembly and well-meaning Nigerians? Does it make sense to disenfranchise 23 million citizens (a third of the eligible voters) because INEC says it wants to avoid rigging? The 2011 elections were adjudged the most transparent by Nigerians, the international community and the INEC chairman himself without the use of PVCs. So what has changed?
“Is this why APC leaders and members insist on non-postponement of the elections even when they know that 23 million Nigerians may not vote? Do they know something we do not know?
“Prof Jega said on National Television on 23rd of January 2015 that INEC is doing everything possible to ensure that before the end of January all the cards have been produced and made available. That deadline of end of January has come and gone and we still do not have the PVCs. Is he being sincere?
“We hereby challenge Prof Jega to be honourable and transparent. He should publish accurate information on the state of PVCs: how many PVCs are in the country? Where are they located state by state? When would the others arrive from China? How does he plan to distribute them before elections?
“Prof Jega should respond to these allegations of partisanship and ineptitude, and live up to his responsibilities as an independent election umpire. If he refuses to do so, we may end up losing confidence in him.”