– Damasus Henry reporting
State Governors question INEC’s preparedness
With less than 20 days to the Nigerian general election, a State Governor has claimed that so many people in his state, himself included, had not received their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVC), posing a threat to their participation in the election. Jonah David Jang, the Plateau State Governor said their rights were likely to be disenfranchised.
Speaking at the PDP governor’s forum in Lagos, Governor Jang said it was shocking that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was acting at such a slow pace even as the election fast approaches. He said the success of the election was being jeopardized by the INEC’s incompetence.
Another Governor showing doubts over the preparedness of the INEC was Godswill Akpabio, State Governor of Akwa-Ibom, who said even the use of card readers should not have been used during this election because of their controversy.
“The sensitivity of these elections requires intensive preparations to avoid any forms of doubts and malpractices,” he said.
Deltan Activists claim INEC have “failed the Nigerian electorate”
Niger Delta activists Anniko Briggs said it was shocking that up to now the PVCs and card readers had not yet arrived in some areas in the Niger Delta. “We are asking ourselves what will happen if the election’s day arrives and we don’t have voter’s cards? What will be our franchise rights as people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?” she asked.
Miss Briggs continued, “the INEC has failed the Nigerian electorate because I come from an area in Rivers State where some people get up to two hours to get to where they will vote. Sometimes it could take up to a day to take results to counting centers.” Expressing fears that a large number of potential voters are likely to miss out, she said that the issue of gaining PVC if one has registered is a basic human and democratic right. “If we are not careful, no matter who wins, Nigeria will face post-election violence.”
She said she did support the election to go on, but questioned the rationale of having it if millions of people won’t vote because they didn’t have PVC. “What do you think will happen?”