The president of the Oodua people’s congress (OPC), and the convener of the Coalition of Concerned Nigerians, Chief Gani Adams has said that the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega has set the stage for rigging in favour of the All Progressives Congress APC presidential candidate, General Mohammadu Buhari, in the forth-coming general elections with the introduction of thirty thousand polling units in the north.
Adams pointed out that the actions of Jega were inadvertently lending credence to his purported meeting with APC chieftains in Dubai, stressing that for the purpose of peace and tranquility, Jega must cancel the additional polling units created by the INEC under his leadership.
Gani who disclosed this to newsmen on Wednesday at a media briefing in his office in Lagos, reiterated that “We are beginning to see him to be partisan, and leading us to believe that he actually met with APC chieftains in Dubai and is now working for them. Before now the Afenifere group and the Southern People Assembly had issued independent press statements that the commission should not go ahead and create any additional polling units as doing that may amount to confusion.”
According to him, “where there is injustice, violence is inevitable, and every well meaning Nigeria should come together to ensure that there is justice and equity in the affairs of Nigeria as a nation. Less than five million permanent voters’ cards have been received in the south west compared to the north east where despite being a war zone has recorded over ninety percent of PVCs collection.”
“Besides the additional polling centres created by the commission, which is the beginning of rigging, there have been issues of under-age registrations in the north,. Is there a different age criteria for the north? Despite reports in the news media of this anomaly, Jega has not come out to address the issue and if we allow that to prevail, it therefore implies that people from the southern part of the country have definitely been short-changed,” he said.
The OPC leader insisted that Jega must revert to the status quo and dismantle the additional voting centres, he explained that the rally organized by the Coalition of Concerned Nigerians, in Lagos on Monday was peaceful and wondered why some newspapers carried pictures of armed OPC members taken from a 2011 rally just to create a false impression.
“The rally was not against any political party, rather it was for the purpose of calling Jega to order, to the right thing, or step down, it was not even an OPC rally but a rally of the Coalition of Concerned Nigerians, no political poster was defaced and nobody was armed, we were alarmed to see pictures taken from Dr Frederick Faseheun’s led rally against the threat of Boko Haram in 2011 on front pages of some newspapers,” he said.
He flayed the media for not confirming their sources before going to press; he said it was even more disappointing that some media houses will publish unsigned press releases.
Also commenting on the perceived rift between him and the national leader of APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the OPC leader said: “I am not seeking for any political relevance from Tinubu, our concern with him is that he has derailed from the Yoruba ideology, just imagine someone that has been agitating for national conference since 1993, only to all of a sudden kick against it upon his return from London last year after President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan had gathered the momentum to call for a national conference.”
He held that the values of Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo will always be held in high esteem among the Yorubas due to his ideological consistency which was not tainted by self-aggrandizement.