The All Progressives Congress (APC) has raised the alarm over the three-day distribution of the Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) in 12 states, which rounded off on Sunday, saying the process was intentionally programmed to fail in order to disenfranchise voters in the states with the highest number of voters.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the fact that most of the 12 states in which the process has been largely botched in the past three days have the highest number of voters and are under the control of the APC point to a clear collusion between INEC and the PDP.
It said most registered voters were unable to collect their PVCs because INEC engaged in a programmed incompetence to swing the elections in favour of the PDP, in what is a clear case of rigging at source.
”There is no doubt that this programmed incompetence has emanated from just one source, the ICT unit of INEC, with the intent of sabotaging the PVC distribution process in key states, hence we are calling on INEC Chairman Attahiru Jega to institute an internal inquiry into the botched exercise with a view to fishing out the fifth columnists who are behind the sabotage, meting out the necessary punishment to them.
”If INEC is to organize a free, credible and transparent election next February, it must quickly return to the drawing board to fashion out how to ensure that all Nigerians who are eligible to vote are able to do so without hindrance, and also purge itself of the fifth columnists within its ranks who are bent on sabotaging the elections,” APC said.
The party said it is curious that most of the affected states (Kaduna, Kano, Edo, Plateau, Ogun, Imo, Borno, Rivers, Lagos, Nasarawa, Katsina, Niger) are either opposition strongholds or harbour the highest huge number of voters.
”This is highly suspicious, against the background of available information that the PDP-led Federal Government is working to disenfranchise voters in opposition strongholds during the forthcoming polls,” it said..
APC said the unmitigated disaster that the PVC distribution exercise turned out to be in those states raises some questions: Why did INEC put those states together for the PVCs distribution exercise in the first instance? Why did INEC announce the dates for the distribution of PVCs in the states if the electoral body was not ready? And why was a process that has taken INEC four years to plan end up being so shoddy?
The party said having realized it cannot win a free and fair elections in 2015, the PDP has come up with the plan to suppress the votes in the APC states which also harbour the highest number of registered voters, especially Lagos, Rivers, Kano and Sokoto states, wondering why the exercise was better organized in states without a huge number of votes.
”We know their two-pronged game plan to skew the 2015 general elections in favour of the PDP. One is to mess up the collection of PVCs in states with the highest number of registered voters which also fall under the control of the APC, with the aim of suppressing the votes in those states.
”The second approach is to programme the voter’s registration exercise in those states, which also have a high number of people who are due for registration, so the states will not meet the requirement to participate in next year’s election since INEC would not have finished the voter’s registration process in those states.
”Going by the poor state of the registration machines which cannot register more than 50 voters a day each; the non-available or non-functioning printers and other problems, INEC cannot obviously meet the deadline to register eligible voters in those states before the next elections.
”The plan, therefore, is to postpone the elections in the states to a later date, so the PDP-led federal government can then use the Ekiti formula that includes massive militarization and widespread intimidation to prevent a free and fair elections in the states. That is why we believe that INEC’s shoddy PVC distribution exercise in those states constitute a programmed incompetence that was jointly formulated by INEC and the PDP,” It said.
APC slammed INEC for resorting to lame excuses for botching the exercise, saying Nigerians are not interested in who got the contract to produce the cards but in being able to exercise their franchise during the forthcoming elections.