MASSOB insists that Prof. Jega must go

by Ranti Joseph

To match Interview NIGERIA-ELECTION/

The Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) on Wednesday said that it would resist election in the South if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Attahiru Jega refuses to go.

The MASSOB leader, Ralph Uwazuruike who disclosed this at world press conference held at the MASSOB headquarters annex, New Owerri, Imo State, said the resolve of his group stemmed from the various allegations of bias levelled against Jega.

In his address, Uwazuruike known as the Ijele Ndigbo said it has become increasingly worrisome that despite strong allegations of bias against the INEC boss, Jega, he is still preparing to conduct the forth coming general elections.

He said that the worry stemmed from the fact that the election conducted by Jega would lack credibility and would unavoidably put the nation into serious crisis.

“In such crisis as usual the safety of live and property of Ndigbo in the North and other parts of Nigeria will be targets for destruction. From the onset, Jega was not prepared for free and fair elections. He demonstrated that by his infamous 30,000 polling units, where he allotted more than two-third of the polling units to the North. Despite public outcry, the Senate also passed a resolution stating that the polling units should not be used. Still Jega went ahead and converted the polling units to voting centres in the North,” he said.

Uwazuruike also pointed out that Jega was able to distribute more than 90 per cent of the Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) in the North, including Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states where there are raging insurgencies while he failed to distribute 50 per cent of the same in the South before the elections were shifted.

He, therefore, said that even when the elections were shifted, there are avalanches of allegations that Jega would be biased in the conduct of the March and April elections. “The Governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang has taken INEC to court based on the fact that the PVCs meant for distribution in his state is yet to arrive. Besides, other states governors are still complaining that PVCs meant for their states are yet to be printed. Jega wants to organise a kangaroo election where he intends to pronounce his preferred candidate the winner of the election. This much has been stated by the leaders of the South-East, South-South Leaders Forum led by Chief Edwim Clark. The Forum also exhibited evidences of the minutes of meetings by Jega and members of Northern Elders Forum. Till date Jega is yet to refute the allegations,” he added.

Uwazuruike said that his group was disturbed by the catastrophe his agenda might provoke, saying that the impending calamity could be avoided by Jega quitting. “Inasmuch as many believe that Jega has compromised, the only option left for him is to quit. He is not the only person that can conduct election in Nigeria. Any national commissioner of the INEC can do so,” he stressed.

He disclosed that the people of the South-East, South-South and South-West have passed a vote of no confidence on Jega.

“If Jega so insists in conducting the elections he may well conduct the forthcoming elections only in the North. Jega cannot conduct a pre-determined election for the South,” he explained. He vowed that there would not be any election in the South if Jega insists on remaining to conduct the polls.

He warned that if the upcoming election is not well managed it would snowball into crisis, which he said would see the Igbo as major casualty insisting that Jega has a moral obligation to quit now because of the many allegations against him on bias, pointing out that former electoral umpires like Abel Guobadia and Maurice Iwu had in the past quit three months before their terminal date and elections still held as scheduled.

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