Fidelity bank banner Bayelsa State banner
RIGHTSView: Attahiru Jega, 2015 and Northern Agenda

By Emmanuel Onwubiko on 13/09/2014

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 2,583

Billions of public funds have gone down the drain, funding the Prof Attahiru Jega-led Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) since his team of management staff were picked by the President Goodluck Jonathan’s  government and their subsequent confirmation by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria dominated by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Majority of Nigerians can at best say that this very expensive electoral panel, perhaps the most expensive electoral umpire in the world, has done very little to win public confidence. Two descriptions are used by most people to contextualise the current INEC: inept and inefficient.

It would be recalled that during the 2011general elections, the Attahiru Jega-led INEC unilaterally cancelled an ongoing National Assembly election, costing the Nigerian people approximately N10 billion, because of poor supervision, which resulted in the lack of delivery of the needed electoral materials (reportedly from South Africa) by the firms contracted allegedly by INEC for that sensitive job. Till date, Nigerians are yet to know if these huge sums of public funds wasted in this futile exercise had been recovered from the failed contractors. Again, no information is available regarding whether INEC has successfully prosecuted these contractors for the abysmal failure and the naked show of shame.

From that 2011 election till date, this electoral panel has conducted several elections that have over time been overturned by several election petition tribunals, underpinning the malpractices and ineptitude that attended such electoral process undertaken by the Independent National Electoral Commission. But many Nigerians expected the Jega-led electoral commission to put its house in order ahead of the 2015 general election which, from all intents and purposes, were distant years from the date of the last major elections in 2011. Sadly, with few months and weeks to the all-important general elections in 2015, the Independent National Electoral Commission is still not sufficiently ready, even as the most important component of these national elections such as the voters’ registration is marred by operational nightmares and insider abuses.

Few days back, the electoral panel summoned Nigerians to proceed to collect the so-called permanent voters’ cards, preparatory for the coming February 14, 2015 polls. But, again, the professional incompetence and sheer mischief of this electoral panel were in high supply, because majority of Nigerians discovered to their chagrin that the so-called data-capturing machines, allegedly deployed in 2011 to register voters, did not work as expected because the names of most of the validly registered voters were either wiped out or compromised for no just reason. Even the graduates drawn from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC] scheme to conduct the issuance of the so-called permanent voters' cards were not armed with any computer systems, but were left to attend manually to Nigerians who came out in greater number seeking to obtain their cards, which Attahiru Jega decreed will be the only permissible cards for those willing to cast their votes for their choice candidates in the 2015 elections; which have rightly or wrongly been classified as the most important election for the Sovereign Nigeria State.

It could be recalled that the Northern political entrepreneurs, who parade as politicians, have signified their determination to ensure that the presidential office shifts to their zone. The southern zone, which now holds the presidency courtesy of a landslide victory of Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, has indicated that it will be constitutionally justifiable for the incumbent president to be allowed to go for a second bite of the cheery in 2015.  

It is, therefore, safe to say that the role of the Independent National Electoral Commission, prior to this all-important election, cannot be overstated.

As a result, most observers believe that the apparent systemic failure of this INEC headed by Professor Jega to get right the issuance of the so-called permanent voter’s cards, may spell doom for the coming elections. As I put pen to paper, yours truly hasn’t gotten my so-called permanent voter’s card of Attahiru Jega-led INEC, which has been decreed as the valid card for next year’s election, despite  evidence of my valid registration in the last registration, having been armed with the temporary voter's card which the INEC officials issued me. Findings from the central computer room in INEC shows that my name, as well as hundreds of thousands of other voters, have disappeared or made to disappear by INEC in what is now being suspected to be a grand conspiracy to deny us of our fundamental right to vote and be voted for.

The Attahiru Jega-led INEC recently distributed additional 30,000 wards and the method of distribution is skewed in favour of the North, which is the zone that produced Professor Attahiru Jega. Already accusations of a grand scale plot by the northern political establishment to hijack next year’s election has surfaced, not just from the South-east but also from many quarters in the South and Middle-Belt region of Northern Nigeria.

Even the ruling PDP in the South-east has rejected this Jega’s style of distribution of new electoral wards, which is favourable only to the North.

One time Anambra State governor, Dr Chukwuemeka Eze­ife, was among  statesmen and women that have raised the alarm that INEC has been hijacked by the North, to actualise its unhidden agenda to take over pow­er in 2015.

In a news report published by the popular Sun Newspaper, Chief Ezeife (Okwadike Igboukwu) , a known supporter of the current president and, indeed ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s former special adviser, premised the plot on the proposed review of poll­ing units’ distribution chart in favour of the North and the attendant arrogance and over­flowing confidence of leading politicians in the region, ahead of next year’s presidential elec­tions.

The writer of the story recalled that this is the first time in his­tory that the nation’s electoral umpire is headed by a North­erner. Ezeife, who spoke to Sunday Sun via electronic means, reportedly deplored the distribution of polling units by INEC, describing it as “shock­ing and a blatant rigging de­sign with impunity.” He de­cried the imperial statements of Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, and his Jigawa State counterpart, Sule Lamido, saying they speak as people who have background information. “In that distribu­tion, North-west has more than 7,000 units, the South-east is given about the same num­ber of polling units as Abuja, the Federal Capital – just a little more than 1,000 units.

“The new distribution of polling units correlates nega­tively or inversely with the distribution of votes for Jona­than in the 2011 presidential election. The South-east is considered as Mr. President’s strongest support-base.”

Ezeife further revealed an impending plan by INEC to “clean up the voters” register, which is alleged to have result­ed in wiping off more than half of South-east voters.

The above disclosure by the no-nonsense Harvard economist and retired perm sec,  has led one to ask if this could be said to be what I have suffered in the hands of INEC: because this Jega-led INEC surreptitiously forced the disappearance of my name from the voters’ register.

Ezeife raised some posers: “In view of published distribution of polling units, doubt about the truth of this ‘clean-up’ is weakened. Is there a grand plan to rig the 2015 elections? Can it explain the indication of strong but very surprising confidence oozing out from the statements of some north­ern politicians, where ordinary political calculations and com­mon sense will suggest total absence of hope? Does it give a clue to the attempt on Buhari’s life?”

Ezeife expressed optimism that the design will fail. He urged President Goodluck Jonathan to push for the con­firmation of the report of the just-concluded National Con­ference, which has provided a framework for a new Nigeria in which all the groups in Ni­geria can maximise their true interests.

 But the good news, however, is that Nigerians still have enough time to drag Jega and his incompetent bunch of management staff to court, should they continue to show negative sign of a sinister plot aimed at disenfranchising Nigerians. Section 6 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) gives the courts of competent jurisdiction the power to intervene and save Nigeria from the impending anarchy that may be visited on Nigeria, should INEC succeed in denying some Nigerians their constitutional right to vote in the coming elections guaranteed under chapter four of the 1999 Constitution.

This is the same INEC that is yet to tackle the issue of child-voters significantly noticeable in Northern Nigeria. The recent Katsina State local council poll saw the active participation of children below the voting age who voted without being challenged; and now it has failed abysmally to show Nigerians a clear justification for the billions of naira that reportedly went into digitalising the voters register. What is at play in this national fiasco and show of shame, witnessed only few days back when majority of Nigerians couldn’t get their permanent cards, is that this INEC has remained consistently unteachable and unrepentant.

RIGHTSVIEW appears twice a week on Wednesday and Saturdays, in addition to special appearances. The Columnist, popular activist Emmanuel Onwubiko, is a former Federal Commissioner of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission and presently National Coordinator of Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA).

Source News Express

Posted 14/09/2014 12:43:40 AM


Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+



REVEALED: 3 natural ways to get stronger erections, last 25 minutes on bed, and increase manhood size without using drugs. Also, Natural Prostrate Enlargement Remedy.. Get In HERE...


You may also like...
Buhari eulogises Olubadan as body is interred

Cross River cabinet nominees to face aptitude test...

Arsenal coach jailed over murder

Buhari mourns as Ex-IGP Coomassie dies

Breaking News: End of the road for Tukur...

Anambra adopts new technology for long-lasting roads

Rain shower, clouds and thunderstorms to characterise today’s...

Nigeria leads in number of internally displaced persons...

Rockefeller Foundation partners Tony Elumelu Foundation on Cape...

Lagos moves against bureaucracy, complacency among civil servants...

Nigerian executed in Singapore for drug offences despite...

Fake herbalist defrauds man of N190m to cure...


Latest News Tension in Rivers over rumour of dead cows IMF warns world leaders, says tariffs will hurt global economy Mob lynches Muslim man transporting cows in India Zimbabwe’s president courts white voters ahead of election 5th Lagos Public Relations Stakeholders’ Conference to address reputation and communications challenges of Made-in-Nigeria goods National Register of Citizens: Commonwealth rights group tasks Indian Government, Assam BREAKING: Adeleke wins Osun PDP governorship ticket ‘Prophet’ arrested after failing to resurrect corpse Minister’s convoy in ghastly accident; one dead, 20 injured 4-month-old baby dies in Onitsha fire tragedy Atiku mobilises for PDP, says party will revive Nigeria’s economy, unify country Flood: 14 council areas in Anambra under threat ―NHSA


Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (363,681 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (359,249 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (287,681 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (236,047 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (215,436 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (213,007 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (187,138 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (169,121 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (156,607 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (153,348 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (148,128 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (139,223 views)


Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (52) Business & Economy (3,364) Business Verdict (48) Columnists (890) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (207) Entertainment (516) Features (616) Global Business Monitor (286) International (2,159) Interview (158) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (127) News (37,349) Opinion (1,024) Pidgin (10) Politics (5,640) Religion (790) Sports (1,613) Stock Watch (33) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update


CBN banner

Firstmobile banner




Nigerian detainees send SOS from Osama prison


APO Group Partner




GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member



Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera