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EXCLUSIVE: Presidency angry with Jega for blaming poll shift on security chiefs

EXCLUSIVE: Presidency angry with Jega for blaming poll shift on security chiefs
February 09
14:53 2015

An uneasy relationship now exists between presidency and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the reason adduced for the adjustment of the general election dates, TheCable understands.

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Attahiru Jega, a professor of political science and INEC chairman, had attributed the shift in dates from February 14 and 28 to March 28 and April 11 respectively to a letter written by the military over its “inability” to provide security for the elections because of ongoing operations against Boko Haram in the north-east.

But a presidency official who spoke with TheCable at the weekend said Jega was being “clever by half” and was attempting to “pass the buck” in order to cover up for INEC’s poor preparations for the elections.

The official only spoke on the condition that he would not be quoted.

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“Jega was not sincere at all. The collection of PVCs was to end last Saturday and 23 million cards were yet to be distributed. Why was Jega not man enough to admit they would have bungled the elections if the dates had remained unchanged?” he asked.

According to the official, who is a presidential aide, the security issue was just one of the several factors that necessitated the shift in the dates “but Jega has cleverly gone to tell the whole world that it was the security agencies that forced him to change the dates.”

He said journalists should have asked him what he intended to do with the 23 million uncollected PVCs as well as the ones that were stolen from INEC’s custody.

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“Jega was also silent on the fact that the machines that would be deployed to read the cards had not been tested and its officials had not even been trained on how to use them, while there is yet no consolidated voter register. Jega himself admitted to his commissioners that the election would have ended in chaos if INEC had gone ahead. The letter written by the chief of defence staff was the perfect excuse for him to shift the polls and heap all the blame on security,” he said.

President Goodluck Jonathan had grown suspicious of Jega, the source added, because of the “lopsidedness” in the management of the PVC distribution exercise and the pronouncements of the INEC chairman on Saturday are believed to have worsened matters.

Rumours have been circulating that Jega may be asked to proceed on terminal leave since his tenure ends on June 30, 2015, with an acting chairman appointed to oversee the elections.

However, this looks unlikely since he can only proceed on terminal leave three months to the expiration of his tenure — which is not earlier than March 30, 2015, two days after the new date for state elections.

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It is unprecedented that a new chairman would be appointed for INEC in the middle of a general election.

Jega himself has said he has no reason to resign but would do so if he has to.

Section 132 (2) of the constitution allows for elections to be held up till April 30, and this had further fuelled fears that the country may be plunged into a crisis if Jega is asked to proceed on terminal leave.

There would however be a constitutional crisis if the election is held on April 30 and there is a need for run-off if no candidate meets the requirements to be declared a winner.

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The constitution stipulates that the run-off should be held within seven days, effectively making it impossible to hold the election 30 days to the May 29 exit date for the current administration.

The US has already warned Nigeria against “further delays” — a clear message that there should be no further change in dates.

Although the US cannot force Nigeria to hold elections, it may consider imposing sanctions on the Jonathan government.

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49 Comments

  1. KD
    KD February 09, 12:35

    It will be the 8th wonder of the world if the presidency and pdp doesn’t have a hand in this crisis rocking the election dates – the whole issues reeks of incumbent desperation.

    Reply to this comment
    • nicabeth
      nicabeth February 11, 11:01

      Sentiment will not take us anywhere, jega was not ready, go to the collection centre as at today, quite a number of uncollected PVC, of what advantage is this postponement to Jonathan? Just 6 weeks. Maybe opposition party have something to hide or to cover up that’s why they in a hurry, we’ll soon find out because 6 wks is too short for all these noise

      Reply to this comment
  2. Musuru
    Musuru February 09, 12:38

    I HATE TO SEE “THE US WARNED…”, AND NIGERIANS AND THE MEDIA ACCEPTING THE NONSENSE! ARE WE STILL IN THE SLAVERY ERA? WHY MUST STUPID THREATS OF “THE US SAID” BE USED TO MAKE US DO THINGS? THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE, WE ARE AN INDEPENDENT NATION, NO MATTER THE CRISIS WE ARE FACING! THEY ARE NOT OUR MASTERS PLEASE!!!!

    Reply to this comment
    • tayoa1
      tayoa1 February 09, 13:19

      Yes we are still in the slavery era and we put ourselves in slavery by our inability to put in place a working social order

      Reply to this comment
      • Fulani Nomad
        Fulani Nomad February 09, 13:52

        God bless you.

        Reply to this comment
      • stonebridge
        stonebridge February 09, 16:45

        You are very correct @tayo. Except we conform to a steady egalitarian and peaceful socio-economic and political order, imperial powers such as the US and their cohorts will stop at nothing but act as domineering forces in our land.

        Reply to this comment
      • Shooaib
        Shooaib February 09, 17:20

        The presidency shld giv us a break jo.

        Reply to this comment
      • abudaud
        abudaud February 10, 03:29

        Musuru, presidential democracy is a brain child of the US.Drop it and evolve your system,if u cherish ur freedom. If u love it, then operate according to dictates of the game.If not,then u must listen to the voice of reason.Because even football is played according to the rules,not to talk of governance.

        Reply to this comment
    • belo
      belo February 09, 14:12

      but you know we still behave like slaves. We always shake for the white man.

      Reply to this comment
    • Jakadiya
      Jakadiya February 09, 15:22

      I 100% agree with you. However, the problem is with our leaders who rush for USA endorsement on issues that could be resolved at home.

      Reply to this comment
    • oloje..
      oloje.. February 09, 19:40

      Here we are complaining about the outside world particularly the US,but will be quick to ask for help whenever we need help. Its only natural for you to advise your friend to avoid things that will lead him into trouble and at the same time make him your problem

      Reply to this comment
    • Modeji
      Modeji February 09, 21:32

      But they have the best democracy in the world as of today. I know if you have your way you will want to be in US as a citizen. They are not our master but other countries listen to them and respect their opinion.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Tango Alpha
    Tango Alpha February 09, 13:18

    There is nothing bad in the Warning by US. This is acceptable in International Politics and Diplomacy. We need to ask ourselves questions why we got to this level. Even if we give one year of grace, some Nigerians would still not go and pick up their PVCs. Dasuki used his mouth in the presence of the whole world even Bode George still said it last night that security reasons was vital for postponing the election so why blame Jega?

    Reply to this comment
  4. Omo Naija
    Omo Naija February 09, 13:53

    The PDP has a hand in this postponement. INEC says it can conduct election, our security agencies said they won’t support Inec, what do they want Inec to do, they should go and perfect their rigging process and stop ranting. Sending Jega on terminal leave will surely be a very stupid move.

    Reply to this comment
    • African Democracy
      African Democracy February 09, 14:16

      Omo Naija..i wish you are wise

      Reply to this comment
    • Kappa Kay
      Kappa Kay February 09, 17:05

      So from what you read in the piece, it’s still PDP problem. How can you run a new machine for election without training the users, test run the new equipment yet expect a fine outcome. Those who fail to plan have planned to fail. As said security is one of the many reasons but it’s not the only reason. Read the article and understand before commenting please.

      Reply to this comment
      • Uwe
        Uwe February 09, 18:03

        Kay,

        I agree with u. I also agree with those who take exception to Yankees’ meddlesomeness.

        Reply to this comment
      • Obi
        Obi February 10, 14:16

        Thank you my brother. Some of these so called commentators seem to just talk without thinking. Apply some commonsense please!

        Reply to this comment
  5. African Democracy
    African Democracy February 09, 14:10

    If Jega a political professor as claimed does not know that it is the basic right of every legible citizen of every country to vote and be voted for let someone else take his place…for those who free away from their homes ,towns and villages should be given the chance to vote as well..that is Democracy…long live Nigeria..Long live Africa

    Reply to this comment
  6. AYS
    AYS February 09, 14:13

    @ musuru, i like your pride for our nation but we live in a global village where stuffs like locale situations as ours affect other parts of the globe, hence an international govt led by the US. hope you know that we also do the same in west africa and africa as a whole

    Reply to this comment
  7. Omoh Okpo
    Omoh Okpo February 09, 14:14

    Obama cannot warn the state of North Carolina over its internal affair, talk less of a sovereign Republic of Nigeria!

    Our press should refrain from using words that tend to undermine the dignity of our dear country when reporting what is a mere opinion of another country. The US cannot dictate to Nigeria. Period.

    Reply to this comment
    • DiarisGod
      DiarisGod February 10, 00:06

      Which dignity? Your country is invaded by insurgents, thousands maimed and kidnapped, your people are poor due to runaway and unchecked corruption and incompetence and your president is manipulating institutions to subvert democracy and people’s aspirations! Dignity my foot!

      Reply to this comment
  8. benaiah
    benaiah February 09, 14:41

    we are an independent nation indeed, only so far as hoisting flags and emblems go. we can’t even boast of a viable indiginous airline.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Great
    Great February 09, 15:44

    We are wasting and spending so much time on debates and analysis instead of investing our precious time on prayer.
    Some spiritual wickedness in high places have set up and agenda against Nigeria. Only God can see us through.
    God bless Nigeria.

    Reply to this comment
    • L'ayo ni o
      L'ayo ni o February 09, 16:17

      We have been praying.
      God Almighty will see us through.
      Though I smell a rat, a very internationally rotten one at that… YET I believe the hand of the Lord is upon this country. Let’s keep on praying. This too shall pass.

      Reply to this comment
  10. De Angel
    De Angel February 09, 16:10

    He who pays the piper dictates the tone.I am sure if anything go wrong in the cause of this administrative in efficiency,the so-called sovereign nation will go begging the US for support;perhaps beg for loan and relieve materials.when a situation can be predicted,it is good to warn.

    Reply to this comment
  11. VIP
    VIP February 09, 16:15

    There’s always confusion in the enemy’s(contriver of evil) camp. When one plan fails, try another. Now it must be Jega’s certificates.He has no primary school certificate, he’s old,sick,a hacker,thug etc etc!

    Reply to this comment
  12. Nelly
    Nelly February 09, 16:59

    America should go and sit down. Has Nigeria ever warned them about how to choose their leader. Who are they to dictate to us? We have every right to shift the election as anytimes as it takes INEC to get it right. And if they don’t like it they can go and sleep.

    Reply to this comment
    • Kay
      Kay February 09, 17:58

      Nelly,

      You are correct, but I wonder what most of you spend all your lives dreaming of America as a nation.

      Dont worry, they are already sleeping, however do not wake them up when you need to.

      Reply to this comment
  13. Ogoja
    Ogoja February 09, 17:08

    It’s rather unfortunate that we have found ourselves in this precarious situation that tends to undermine our hard earned Democracy. There are pertinent questions that need answers. Firstly, who funds INEC activities? Has INEC been working independent of the government in POWER? Even if INEC shifts this election till next year, not everyone within voting age will still be able to vote. Shifting the elections is not healthy for the economy. Foreign Investors are pulling out their funds until after the elections. Let’s be wise. God bless Nigeria.

    Reply to this comment
  14. PeaceMaker1967
    PeaceMaker1967 February 09, 18:29

    Summary: Security factors were number one issues and secondly PVC have not yet been distributed and the reading machines not put in place and no staff were trained to handle the reading machines.It can be revealed that enemies are not happy to see federal government receiving credits for fair and peaceful election with advance technology like western world.The Presidency wants many Nigerians to exercise their rights to vote their respective presidential candidates peacefully without terrorist attacks in the election day.US must understand a point that they cannot force Nigeria to do things the wrong ways.Thank you US for your concerns.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Joetek
    Joetek February 09, 19:09

    A smart one by the National Security Adviser to give room for the ruling party to recover from the shock of the offensives being launched by the opposition party. PDP had never before faced this kind of challenge. Bravo APC!!!

    Reply to this comment
  16. yes yes!!!
    yes yes!!! February 09, 19:46

    This is pure sabotage.People are not logical in their postulations.I doubt that Jega can answer yes 100% to these questions today. He now has breathing space to finalise the arrangements.And we need to focus pressure on Jega. He is the only one with the power to provide us a free and fair election.

    Reply to this comment
  17. obized
    obized February 09, 19:50

    YOU SHOULD NOT BLAME AMERICA.
    WHEN ENLIGHTENED & WELL EDUCATED NIGERIANS RUSH TO BRITAIN, THE EUROPEAN UNION & USA TO “AS-IT-WERE” REPORT THE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA TO THEM AT THE SLIGHTEST DISAGREEMENT WITH FEDERAL GOVT. SO NOW TELL ME WHY WON’T THESE NATIONS LITERALLY “ISSUE” ORDERS TO THE FED. OF NIGERIA?
    HOW MANY TIMES HAVE WE SEEN ANY OPPOSITION POLITICIAN FROM EUROPE, BRITAIN OR THE US RUSH DOWN TO NIGERIA TO HEAP INSULTS ON THE LEADERSHIP OF EUROPE, BRITAIN OR THE USA?
    SO BEFORE WE SCOFF AT THE US, EUROPE OR THE US, LET’S FIRST SCOLD AT OUR POLITICAL GLADIATORS TO DESIST FROM THEIR RITUALISTIC TRIPS ABROAD “JUST TO RUBBISH THE FEDERAL GOVT. OF NIGERIA & BY EXTENSION THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.

    Reply to this comment
    • Klasj
      Klasj February 10, 04:42

      Is the opposition to blame? From whom and where did you and other Nigerians first hear of the possible postponement of the elections? From national security adviser of course when he went to brief the Chattam House in London for that matter.

      Reply to this comment
  18. herbaylinks
    herbaylinks February 09, 20:05

    Advice to INEC: On the matter of distribution of PVCs, pls liase with all the major telecom service providers in the country that everyone who is yet to collect his/her PVC should send their name, present state of residence, nearest LGA to a particular Code No which will be directly accessible to INEC and let INEC employ ad doc hands to help sort out this names against the outstanding PVCs and get them moved to the various information details provided by Nigerians. I think this will go a long way to fast track the distribution of the outstanding PVCs. Thank you.

    Reply to this comment
  19. Concerned
    Concerned February 09, 20:15

    Has anyone thought of the fact that those million voters who failed to pick their PVCs are indeed ghost voters that have bedeviled our election process. Give them another year they will not collect because they do not exist. Jega should have postponed the elections.

    Reply to this comment
    • King Tim
      King Tim February 11, 13:14

      No, they are not (all) ghost voters, as you put it. For instance, the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola has come out to say that even he is yet to see his PVC, and he went on to say that the Sultan of Sokoto has also not seen his. INEC is facing logistics problems that are REAL. This article points to the fact that Jega ought to have admitted it also, rather than simply pointing to the security agencies as the reason for postponing the elections.

      Reply to this comment
  20. Funku$ Fanta
    Funku$ Fanta February 09, 20:38

    The Jonathan Admin/pdp really want to sit tight despite their lack of performance. I have the quizie feeling they starved INEC og requiref funds to paralyse its activities so as to make it fail. Let us pray seriously. Please join the one minute at 9pm daily prayer chain for Nigeria.

    Reply to this comment
    • Beta
      Beta February 09, 22:56

      It’s up to Jonathan to keep Nigeria one or disintegrate our great country which our forefathers built with their sweat for the simple reason of his desire to stay in power at all cost even when it’s very obvious the tide is no longer in his favour. Will the. So-called military operation bring back our girls? The war he could not win in four years, I wonder how he thinks he can spring a surprise in six wees. Nigerians are watching. All their hate campaign against Bbuhari is only making him more popular. Obasanjo actually caused it all by bringing the shoeless in the first place

      Reply to this comment
      • ifeanyi
        ifeanyi February 10, 15:41

        You do not have a modicum of respect for the president. How do you intend to grow in life as a person?
        Nobody will blame you for pitching tent with any candidate but for you to refer to the president as shoeless is a big shame. Please learn how to show respect to authority ok.

        Reply to this comment
  21. mr Ee
    mr Ee February 10, 05:12

    If US and EU issue warnings when our govt mess up its simply because they donate a lot of their tax payers funds to our govt and the agencies. they have donated a lot of money and technology to INEC and other govt agencies.

    Reply to this comment
  22. Baba Obes
    Baba Obes February 10, 08:02

    Everybody talk don’t worry when the problem can we shall enjoy it together

    Reply to this comment
  23. Maigaskiya Usman
    Maigaskiya Usman February 10, 10:09

    Na wa o! I don’t know any God that endorses prayers at the 11th hour when sleep has been on for 10 hours.
    How can an election hold when 1/3 of voters can’t vote? How can a machine not tested be deployed and you expect people who have never seen the machine to see them on the morning of the election and be comfortable using it ? . After being the first govt agency to collect ALL it’s required funds yet PVC’s are still being printed ! Haba Jega fall my hand this time.
    USA will only talk when they have vested interest in a country. They (US govt) NEVER have anyone’s interest at heart genuinely. They only step in when they want a certain person in power so they can continue gaining from the nation. China our biggest trade partners have not complained to that extent yet it is the ones that have things to gain that are making noise not caring about our present situation. Nigeria went to Russia to secure arms, all of a sudden the US realize that a sweet alignment with the East which will open West Africa through Nigeria to Russia and China is in the offing , they decide to jump back IN irrespective of their former decisions not to deal/trade with us for bla bla bla reasons. They want a way back IN, and they are willing to peach tents with whoever will let them IN and shut the door on the East. THEY DONT CARE ABOUT US, THEY ARE PROTECTING THEIR INTEREST. Funny enough we help them ! Starting with our press.
    The issue of security is very key, imagine the election was only postponed for 6weeks and there are pockets of demonstrations here and there, what will happen if a winner is announced? (Especially now when the mood is so tense and all ego political zones are spoiling for war if things don’t go there way). I think or hope this shift will creat time to calm frayed nerves a bit. It is only a shift so we need not kill ourselves and help the Americans sit on our graves. Before you know it 6weeks is gone, and the elections are here. So APC please cool down and stop blowing steam and let time cool the people down too. And PDP please try and stick to your business as a political party and don’t be seen to be playing defendant and Judge at the same time . God Bless Nigeria .

    Reply to this comment
  24. Ladygee
    Ladygee February 10, 10:46

    All l know and believe is that God rules in the affairs of men. Whether they keep postponing it or not for whatever reason God’s WILL shall surely be done. Let’s cry unto Him to do that which only Him can do. Long live NIGERIA. Shalom!

    Reply to this comment
  25. Glime
    Glime February 10, 23:48

    Bros Jona should take all the blames,I’m very sure if they can provide security today Jega can use tvc and pvc to conduct the election after all the election Bros Jona won was done with tvc

    Reply to this comment
  26. danooo
    danooo February 26, 13:55

    lets just keep praying for our dear country nigeria for the best man to be chosen, we dont want fight or riot before, during and after elections,in God we trust

    Reply to this comment

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