The head of the Odua Peoples Congress, OPC, Gani Adams, has called for the immediate sack of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Attahiru Jega.
Mr. Adams, an ally of President Goodluck Jonathan, stated this while speaking in Lagos on Sunday.
Among the reasons for his call, Mr. Adams said Mr. Jega has failed to explain how INEC was able to successfully distribute 90 per cent of Permanent Voters Card, PVC, in North East despite the insurgency in the region.
“I Otunba Gani Adams is using this forum to call for immediate sack, removal or retirement of Professor Attahiru Jega, the chairman of INEC on the basis of PVC distribution, introduction of card reader and creation of 30000 bogus and fraudulent polling units in the northern part of Nigeria against the southern part,” the head of the Yoruba socio-cultural group said while speaking on his organisation’s Eledumare Festival.
Mr. Adams also voiced his opposition to the use of card readers for the general elections, saying, “We have not heard how card readers contributed or added value to any major election in the world.
“To me, it’s an attempt cleverly being injected by Jega to cause delay, confuse voters and prevent majority of voters in exercising their franchise on that day”.
The electoral agency had explained that the decision to use card readers was to limit electoral fraud by ensuring that only true owners of legitimate cards could use them to vote. The opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, which supports the use of the readers, has repeatedly alleged that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its supporters, do not want the readers used so as to perpetuate electoral fraud; a claim the ruling party denies.
Despite INEC announcing it had dropped the plan to create additional polling units after the announcement last year created divides along ethno-religious lines, Mr. Adams accused the electoral agency boss of proceeding with the plan.
“In his ingenious but highly fraudulent stride at rigging the election, Professor Jega has gone through the back door at creating an additional 30,000 polling units not known to law and designated as voting centres to deceive people having been heavily criticised by distinguished and eminent Nigerians,” he said.
The OPC leader said the various actions of the INEC chair would have earned him an immediate removal and sack in other climes
While calling for Mr. Jega’s sack, Mr. Adams urged the federal government to begin the search for a new INEC chair.
“The new chair can come from anywhere. He can come from the north or south. I’m not choosing for the President, but Jega should go” he said.
Mr. Adam’s call is part of a barrage of similar ones by some people, mainly supporters of President Goodluck Jonathan. Last week, the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, also a major ally of the president, supported the sack.
“President Goodluck Jonathan can sack Jega if he wishes and if he does, heavens will not fall,” Mr. Fayose said in apparent response to the local and international condemnations that have trailed the rumoured plan to remove the electoral chief.
President Jonathan has, however, said he has no plans to remove Mr. Jega.
While speaking on Sunday, Mr. Adams, who is also the coordinator of Olokun Festival Foundation, asked Yorubas to participate in the Eledumare Festival which began on Saturday.
“This year’s celebration is not going to be devoid of the usual glamour and atmosphere of praise and worship for God, the Alpha and Omega of our faith. We also want to use this festival to appraise the society and contribute to the growth of our nation; spiritual, political and economic”.
The festival, a 21 days event, will end on March 26.
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