*Affirms Cloned PVCs Will Not Be Useful On Voting Day
The National Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Atahiru Jega Monday offered an insight into the preparedness by the Commission to conduct free and fair election beginning from March 28, affirming that he has no reason to resign against the backdrop of clamour on him to do so.
Jega made this known during an interactive session he had with Nigerians on preparations by INEC for the election, just as he allayed fear on issues of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs), the card reading devices, cases of multiple voting and other logistics problems.
In the interactive session which was extended to the social media network, the INEC boss cleared the air on speculations about plans to remove him from office.
Newspot Nigeria quotes Jega as saying, “There has been speculation about my removal, as far as I’m concerned I have a job to do and have no reason to resign”
He assured Nigerians also that the issue of poor distribution of PVCs across the federation would been over before the first round of elections kicks off.
According to him, While INEC had registered a total of 68.8 voters, it had printed a total of 67 million PVCs and that additional 700, 000 cards were being produced to make up for the shortfall.
He said there were about 700, 000 cards that were yet to be produced, adding, “If by 28th of this month the 700,000 cards have not been produced, then INEC can say we’ve disenfranchised voters”
The INEC boss dismissed the controversy surrounding the purported registration of the newly formed Young Democratic Party (YDP), stating that the party would not participate in the scheduled elections because INEC had sufficient legal grounds to so prevent it.
He said the officials of YDP had been going around with wrong information that the Court had ordered INEC to put the party on the ballot for the election, stating pointedly that the court never given any ruling to that effect.
The INEC Chairman reiterated his earlier position on multiple registration for the election which he said would not be allowed
He said anyone who registered more than once for the election would not be disqualified as according to him, there has been mechanism for detecting multiple registration and removal of the excesses.
He said, “If you register more than once, we remove the multiple data and leave one. A voter won’t be disenfranchised because he registered twice”
“Before 2011 elections, we ran data on AFIS to get rid of multiple registrants. We have removed over 4 million people”
“Nigerians should be confident that cloned cards cannot be used. The card readers will not read cloned cards”.
“After 2015 elections, we will fine tune IDP strategy because of people displaced by flood, security etc”
“We need information about people violating electoral guidelines, then they can face disciplinary action”