• Says Obasanjo’s endorsement of Buhari a rummour
• Akpabio: No PDP Governor will campaign for APC
Chuks Okocha in Abuja
Reprieve continues to come the way of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega as the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, has said that the party has great confidence in him as the INEC chairman.
This was a great departure from the series of allegations made against Jega by the Director of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Femi Fani Kayode who Wednesday accused the INEC chairman of holding secret meetings in Dubai and other places with the intention of rigging the election in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Addressing a press conference in company of all members of the PDP National Working Committee, PDP Governors led by the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Godswill Akpabio, the governors of Benue, Kogi, Cross River and Bayelsa state, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, among others, Adamu Muazu said that the party has confidence in the ability of the chairman of INEC to conduct the general elections.
Muazu also defended the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, stating that his endorsement of the APC presidential candidate, General Buhari is a rumour and that the former president cannot commit anti-party activities. He restated that former President Obasanjo remains a committed and loyal member of the PDP.
According to Muazu, “President Jonathan appointed Prof. Attahiru Jega and therefore knows him very well before the appointment. The President has restated his confidence in the INEC Chairman and therefore we have confidence in him to conduct a free and fair general election. We have confidence in him and I don’t act on rumours and therefore we will work with him as the chairman of INEC.”
According to the PDP chairman, “Although we tend to agree with INEC on the security reasons given for the postponement of the elections, we are nevertheless not unmindful of the fact that the commission on its own part was not fully prepared for the February 14 election date.
“Taking the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega on his own words, for the 68.8 million registered voters, the commission had only printed and delivered 66.3 million Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) with 1.3 million yet to be delivered and 1.1 million stolen cards yet to be replaced.
“Also, according to Jega, 45.09 million voters cards were collected by prospective voters representing 65.8 percent of the registered voters and 23.71 million PVCs, representing 34.2 percent were yet to be collected as at February 7th, which is exactly one week to the February 14th earlier scheduled date. Compare this anomaly with the 2011 elections where not a single eligible voter was disenfranchised.
“By this account, INEC could not sincerely claim to have been fully prepared for a desirable credible, free and fair election at the time when more than 23 million registered voters were going to be disenfranchised.”