Election Postponement: What They’ll Never Tell You.
By Umani Uwemedimo
Prior to the postponement of the February 16th Presidential and National Assembly elections, tension has been raised and the polity being overheated. A lot of questions have been raised as to why INEC postponed the elections barely four hours to the exercise but truth is, accurate and sincere answers are yet to be given in regard to this.
INEC has failed to tell us what transpired in Kano State on Friday between the hours of 3-4pm. From intelligence report, within the above time, there was a van conveying election materials to Kano State and along Kano-Katsina express road which is few kilometers away from the Mallam Aminu Airport, the van was intercepted by some security agents but on insisting the van should be opened so as to enable them have a thorough search on it, they received a signal from Abuja for immediate evacuation from the road. Going contrary to this order, the man at the top again signaled the security agents who were escorting the van to Kano to open fire at the other security agents who had insisted on having a thorough look at the contents of the van. This led to sporadic gunshots in Kano which the APC media hirings rushed to several social media platforms, twisted the story, and claiming that some PDP hired thugs intercepted the van conveying election materials to Kano State meanwhile, it was discovered that the van was conveying already printed ballot papers and election result sheets.
On Tuesday between 5-6pm, it was reported that election materials have been brought into Akwa Ibom State. The news escalated, the State APC issued a release that they’re innocence of the accusation but on making findings, it was discovered that the election materials were taken to Mkpat Enin Local Government and all the ballot papers were thump printed and results prepared in favor of APC.
INEC has also refused to Nigerians that the Managing Director of Activate Technologies Limited, Mohammed Sani Musa whose company supplied the machine used in printing the Permanent Voters Card is the Candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for Niger East Senatorial District. It may interest you to ask:
1- How can a Candidate of a political party be contracted by INEC to print sensitive election materials in an election he’s also participating in?
2- What was INEC thinking in the first place before doing this?
This is a clear conflict of interest and raises questions of probity and oversight in the issuing of INEC contracts. It has been uncovered the reprogramming of the card readers to accept fake replica PVCs.
In Ekiti State, the PDP had discovered that INEC brought excess copies of polling unit result sheets ( Form EC8A). The excess Form EC8A brought were more than double the number of polling units in Ekiti State. According to the opposition party, this was a clear way to technically rig election by making the extra Form EC8A available to APC to write results of polling units they intend to manipulate and swapping them with the ones in which the real votes were entered. For instance, if there are 20 polling units in a ward, all that will be required will be additional 50 votes say, 10 units with high registered voters. With that, 500 additional votes are gotten in that ward.
Again, it was discovered that the APC before Saturday 16th had already thump printed the ballot papers for 16 States and this, they had already prepared the result sheets for these States which in all, APC swept all the polling units. The States were: Akwa Ibom, Kogi, Ekiti, Katsina, Ogun, Ekiti, Kano, Adamawa, Osun, Kwara, Zamfara, Kaduna, Bayelsa, Rivers, Abia and Imo.
In the aforementioned States, incomplete materials were disbursed. Knowing too well that election cannot be conducted when the materials available are incomplete, the APC led Federal Government had perfected plans to withhold the election, fixing another day for it. This was a strategy to deploy security agents to these States so they could supervise the rigging process for the APC win comfortably.
After digesting this piece, one would be saddened knowing that INEC has chosen not to put the populace in limelight. Why is INEC not talking about these misdemeanors?
Umani Uwemedimo is an activist and Public Affairs analyst, writes this piece from Mubi, Adamawa.