Worried by the controversy trailing the distribution of Permanent Voter Card (PVC) and non issuance of the card to large sections of Plateau State, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau has dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court and warned the commission not to ruin democracy.
Speaking with newsmen in Jos, the governor, who is yet to collect his PVC, said with less than four weeks to the presidential election, it was disheartening that reasonable numbers of people on the Plateau were yet to collect their permanent voter cards.
He expressed disappointment that the exercise had turned out to be a political issue and argument between the ruling party and the main opposition party instead of collaboration towards credible elections that would be acceptable to Nigerians and the international community.
“If this election was held on the 14th of this month, can we sincerely say INEC is ready for the election? You have mentioned areas in Plateau State that have not receive their PVC, not that these PVC are in Abuja but based on what I have been told, they have not been printed to be brought to Abuja.
“What is the guarantee that these PVCs will get to Nigeria before another deadline? Honestly, we appreciated Professor Attahiru Jega when he conducted the 2011 election but whether some people are sabotaging him or he himself is not aware of this, only God in heaven knows.
“But when these PVCs came to Jos North, one section got theirs and other did not get. In Jos South, the same thing; likewise in other places.
“This is the problem all over the country. As I have earlier said, if some local governments in Borno state that are occupied by Boko Haram have got their PCVs, who are those that collected the PVCs?Are they Boko Haram? Who are they going to vote for?” he asked.
According to him, it would have been better for the political parties to put more pressure on INEC to do the right thing and expedite action on the provision of the cards instead of seeing it as an opportunity to play politics and to raise unnecessary insinuations.
He said: “It is wrong for us to argue on this on the basis of political affiliations. It is not healthy for our nation, we are behaving as if the PVC that had been collected were for particular parties.
“Citizens of Nigeria registered to vote; no one has gone into their hearts to know who they would vote for. So, I thought all political parties should have put pressure on INEC to ensure that everything is done to have credible election for this country rather than playing on sentiment that PDP wants to sack Jega.
Jang added that government had given Jega a job and it was expected that he would do a credible job in the overall interest of the country and its overall best image.
He added: “If something is wrong, let us find out what has gone wrong, so that they be corrected, rather some people thinking they are the mouth-piece of Jega and that some people don’t like Jega”
Governor Jang, who said he had gone to court to allow usage of temporary cards if the commission was unable to provide permanent voters cards, threatened that he would announce to the people of Plateau to go to their respective voting centres with their temporary voters slips if INEC did not provide the permanent ones.
“I have even gone to court to allow usage of temporary voter cards. INEC should allow this because they cannot deprive my people because it is not their fault. We used this temporary voter cards for 2011 election, we have used them for by election and local government election here in Plateau State without any problems.”
Source: Tribune


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