INEC Compromises Credibility In Plateau, APC Raises Alarm By Yakubu Busari,Jos
The Plateau State, All Progressive Congress ( APC), Chairman, Chief Letep Dabang, has raised alarm that the INEC in Plateau State has been compromised.
He said, at a time when our great Nation is heading for the polls to elect Leaders at the forth coming elections. Our desire and prayer along with the desires and prayers of all well meaning Nigerians and the International Community is that the forth coming elections be free, fair and devoid of any deliberate rancour that will stultify the democratic process and deny Nigerians the opportunity to elect Leaders of their choice.
Dabang stressed further that ,as a result of this rumored compromise, it has been a common fear that INEC will announce the Candidate of a particular political Party as the winner regardless of the outcome of the election.
This like any desperate propaganda of a drowning Political Party is aimed at misleading our teeming supporters into believing that their votes will not count in the election. As a responsive and responsible Political Party, while we take all information with the seriousness it deserves, we challenge the Election Authority to proof that such are indeed mere rumors. We further call on Plateau State INEC to abide by the earlier promise by the National Chairman to give Nigerians election results that are not only transparent but credible.
We have watched with keen interest and high sense of indignation the recent developments leading to the forth coming elections in Nigeria in generally and particularly in Plateau State and are constrained by the attendant implications of all these on the process, to address this press conference.
THE UNGUARDED UTTERANCES OF GOVERNOR JONAH JANG
We are specifically worried by the recent unguarded utterances of those in positions of responsibility, particularly the Governor of Plateau State, Jonah David Jang who recently stated on a Radio/Television news that during the elections he intends to direct his people to use their Temporary Voters Card (TVC) instead of the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) which is an affront on the constitutional duties of the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) This statement to us
reveals a clear intention to frustrate the process by causing wide spread misunderstanding among the unsuspecting voters in the State. In view of the unfortunate utterances, we wish to use this medium to particularly call upon our supporters and in general the peace loving people of Plateau State to ignore this call by adhering strictly to the provisions of the INEC Act and guidelines for the elections particularly on the use of the PVCs as the only legitimate mode of accreditation during the entire process.
USE OF THE MILITARY AND POLICE PERSONNEL AS AGENTS OF INTIMIDATION
Right from the onset, we observed with utter dismay the persistent use and continuous presence of multiple trucks load of Military and Police Personnel in the Political Rallies of our opponents especially those of the PDP. This, we consider as a deliberate attempt to intimidate our supporters and create fear in the minds of the general voters with the attendant implication of creating voters’ apathy during the elections. Our fears in this regard were confirmed recently in Shendam LGA when the Governor on a Town Hall meeting in the Area was escorted by almost 50 Military/Police Personnel from the Special Task Force (STF) in Plateau State. In the cause of this needless show of force, the Chairman of the LGA Mr. Kemi Nshe led the Military and Police to brutalize hundreds of innocent citizens and caused mayhem in Shendam where over 50 people were injured. He also used the Divisional Police Officer in the Area to personally help him deface and destroy the Party posters and flags of the APC and thereafter arrested and detained supporters of the Party who dared to protest such act of provocation. While we wish to remain a law abiding Party, we wish to use this medium to call upon the Chief Of Army Staff and the Inspector General of Police to restrain their personnel from being used as political thugs as we will not hesitate to instruct our supporters to resort to self defense in the face of devious use of force from any unauthorized quarter. In spite of this however, we are calling upon our teeming supporters to remain calm as we consider this as an attempt to intimidate and discourage them from pursuing the change they desire.
PLANNED DECLARATION OF A CURFEW BY GOV JANG
We are aware of the sinister plan by Gov Jang to declare a politically motivated curfew either on Friday 27th and or Saturday 28th being the eve and day of election by Governor Jang. This contemplated curfew is borne out of mischief with the hope of depriving our teeming supporters and Party faithful from travelling to their places of registration and election and to restrict their movements from defending their votes. It is therefore our candid position that voters be allowed freedom of movement on both days as would be the case in every part of Nigeria. We as a Party will consider any form of restriction of movement peculiar to Plateau State as a deliberate attempt to encourage voters’ apathy and possibly create room for rigging which we will not hesitate to resist. In spite of this, and in order to counter the likely effect of the planned curfew, we like the experience in neighboring Bauchi State in 2007 wish to hereby encourage our supporters to disregard any such politically motivated curfew.
PLANNED RIGGING OF THE ELECTIONS
Right from the decision and insistence of the INEC to use the technology of the Card Reader, some Political Parties have been having sleepless nights trying to discredit its viability knowing that it was impossible to rig the elections. We have all been witnesses to the desperate measures taken to frustrate the use of the Card Reader with some Parties and their Chieftains running to court to seek without success an injunction to stop its use. Now that the use of the Card Reader has become inevitable, several desperate rigging strategies are now being contemplated. We also gathered that thugs will be used to cause intense fighting at the polling centers which would lead to possible cancellation of voting at such centers.
While the planned rigging measures ranged from the absurd to the impossible, we as a Party are not resting on our oars to ensure that none of these desperate measures sees the light of day. However, we implore all our supporters to remain calm, vigilant and resist any form of provocation that will lead to disorderliness in any polling unit. We are also calling on INEC and the security agencies to restrict themselves to ensure that none of this happens during the elections.
THE DEPLOYMENT OF CASH FOR VOTES
Information reaching us indicates that our opponents in their desperation have declared that they have secured approval for a BOND to borrow over #27 billion with the intension of using part of the money to buy votes and pay some stipends to the Plateau State Civil Servants and Pensioners who have since been owed several months of salaries arrears and unpaid pensions in exchange for votes. We wish to call on all Financial Institutions to disregard any request for loans by a Government that is in the twilight of its tenure. We also condemn this wasteful deployment of huge resources towards skewing the outcome of the elections. We wish to use this medium to therefore call on our Civil Servants, Pensioners as well as all well meaning Plateau Citizens who are offered money for the purposes of these elections to please collect and yet vote according to the dictate of their conscience.
Finally, we wish to implore all our supporters to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Electoral Act and INEC guide line which provides and stipulate that you have a right to vote and be at liberty to wait around the vicinity of your polling unit until the results of your unit is declared and pasted.