Posted by News Express | 16 March 2015 | 3,534 times
The North is heading for Nigeria’s forthcoming general elections scheduled for March 28 and April 11 with a hefty 8,096,482 more potential voters than the South. The International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) pointed this out in the letter it wrote to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru M. Jega, in which it accused the commission of ethnic cleansing in the distribution of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) to be used for the polls.
Dated 13th March, 2015, the letter was entitled ‘Consequences of Importing Ethnic Cleansing into the Distribution of Permanent Voters’ Cards in Nigeria’. It was signed by Intersociety’s Board Chairman Emeka Umeagbalasi; Head, Campaign & Publicity Department, Uzochukwu Oguejiofor, Esq; Head, Democracy & Good Governance Programme, Chiugo Onwuatuegwu; and Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Programme, Obianuju Igboeli, Esq. The letter was copied the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief of Defence Staff and Director General, Directorate of State Security.
In Part Two of the letter, Intersociety warned of the dire consequences of the mess INECV under the watch of Prof. Jega has made of the PVC distribution. Intersociety told Jega:
A. Over one million PVCs are yet to be produced, delivered and distributed barely fourteen days to the Presidential Poll.
B. Of the over one million unproduced PVCs, the South is owed 807,553.
C. Total Registered Voters (RVs) for the North including the FCT = 37,377,180
D. Total Registered Voters (RVs) for the South = 31,456,296
E. Total gap between the North and the South in RVs = 5,920,883
F. Total PVCs distributed in the North including the FCT as at 12th March 2015 = 32,041,327
G. Total PVCs distributed in the South as at 12th March 2015 = 23,944,845
H. Total gap between the North and the South in the PVCs distributed as at 12th March 2015 = 8,096,482
I. Total Registered Voters in Nigeria for 2015 polls = 68,833,476
J. Total PVCs distributed in Nigeria according to INEC as at 12th March 2015 = 55,904,272 (ours 55,986,172)
K. Total Registered Voters (RVs) denied PVCs in Nigeria according to INEC) as at 12th March 2015 = 12,929,204 (ours 12,847,304)
L. Total Registered Voters (RVs) likely to be disenfranchised or denied PVCs in the March 28 & April 11, 2015 Polls = 11,000,000
M. Total RVs denied PVCs in the North including the FCT = 5,335,857
N. Total RVs denied PVCs in the South = 7,510,471
O. Total RVs denied PVCs in Lagos State (most populated RVs in the South) = 2,054,560
P. Total RVs denied PVCs in Kano State (most populated RVs in the North) = 863,662
Q. Total RVs denied PVCs in the Southwest = 4,765,964
R. Total RVs denied PVCs in the Northcentral = 2,115,910
S. Total RVs denied PVCs in the Southsouth = 1,693,582
T. Total RVs denied PVCs in the Northwest = 1,522,376
U. Total RVs denied PVCs in the Northeast = 1,385,208
V. Total RVs denied PVCs in the Southeast = 1,050,925
W. Total RVs denied PVCs in the FCT = 312,363
X. Total PVCs distributed in seven States of the Northwest zone (16,098,060) are much higher than those of eleven States of the South-south and the Southeast zones (14,980,699) put together
Y. 70% of RVs denied PVCs in the Northeast, the Northwest and Plateau and Niger States in the North-central as well as Lagos State in the Southwest by way of seizure, hoarding, misplacement; disappearance or destruction are non indigenes, Christians and minorities.
Consequences of Ethnic Cleansing in the PVCs Distribution:
The worst undoing trailing the 2015 General Elections in Nigeria is the introduction of ethnicity and religion into it; from the table of your Commission as per the management of the National Register of Voters including voters’ registration and revalidation; distribution and issuance of Permanent Voters’ Cards; to the conducts and conspiracies of primordial and ethno-religious fundamentalist politicians. For the first time in Nigeria under your professorial electoral midwifery, ethnic cleansing has been introduced into the country’s electoral industry and management.
As we have severally observed, the causes of electoral violence in contemporary times around the world are no longer majorly located at the doorsteps of politicians, but at the doorsteps of electoral umpires owing to conducts such as those being complained of. This was why we held and still hold that your Commission must take full responsibility of any riotous outcome of the 2015 polls if it occurs.
Our grand purpose of writing your Commission for the last time before the referenced polls is to demystify the foregoing triggers of violence in the hope that they will be incorporated into your Commission’s final push and bottled up. This must include ensuring that the remaining 12,847,304 registered voters in Nigeria denied PVCs till date are provided with same inexcusably even if it means taking them to their homes. Addressing the foregoing anomalies being complained of should go beyond showcasing of professorial and political science grammars in the media and other public forums. The 2015 polls midwifery must go beyond wearing professorial agbada and university classroom tutorship. They require workshop engineering approaches; otherwise heaven will be let loose and the country will go up in unquenchable flames.
From every indication, your Commission’s informal policy for the 2015 polls appears to constitute a dangerous threat to social values and identities of Christians, Igbo nation as well as Southern and Northern minorities in Nigeria. People may let go other intruders, but certainly not intruders questioning, undermining and threatening their social values or ethnic identities.
Recent angry reactions against your Commission across the country by Nigerian mainstream ethnic nationalities such as the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) in the Southeast zone, the O’odua People’s Congress in the Southwest zone, the South-South People’s Assembly in the South-south zone and the Southern Kaduna Assembly and Christian/Minority bodies in the North clearly indicate existence and maintenance by your Commission of an informal policy questioning, threatening and undermining their ethnic and social identities. Apart from issuance of public statements including communiqués calling for the sack or resignation of the Chairman of your Commission, they have also taken to the streets to register their anger and seriousness over the referenced particularly as it concerns denial of their PVCs and voting rights. One of such street protests took place in Anambra State on March 13, 2015 at the instance of the leadership of MASSOB. These explain why we hold submissively that ethnic cleansing has officially crept into the 2015 polls under your professorial midwifery.
•Photo shows Jega.
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