The Southern Nigerian Peoples Assembly has called for the postponement of the upcoming general elections.
The group, which comprises of former Anambra State Governor, Chukwuemeka Ezeife; a chieftain of the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Chief Femi Okunrounmu; and former Minister of Information, Walter Ofonagoro, among others and led by Ijaw leader and elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, again called for the sack and arrest of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega.
Briefing newsmen in Abuja, the group, which is sympathetic to the re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan, alleged that Jega directed the release of the Permanent Voter Cards to Emirs, District Heads and top politicians in the North.
They noted that the action was responsible for the near 100 per cent distribution rate recorded in the North compared to 50 per cent in the South.
Present at the briefing were Ezeife, Okunrunmu, Ofanagoro and Clark among others.
Okunrounmu, who spoke on behalf of the Assembly, said the postponement would allow for the re-constitution and repositioning of INEC that will conduct credible and acceptable elections.
The Assembly threatened that in the event that the Federal Government failed to take decisive action on the issue, it shall employ and mobilize that there is no election in any part of Southern Nigeria.
Okunrounmu said: “We authoritatively gathered with unassailable and incontrovertible evidence that the INEC Chairman, who was away in Lagos for an official engagement, through one of his National Commissioners that represented him, met with select leaders of the Northern Elders Forum, led by Prof. Ango Abdullahi, on the 20th August, 2014 where strategies and modalities for enthroning a President of Northern extraction through vote rigging were discussed and agreed upon.
“The meeting was sequel to an earlier meeting of Northern Elders Forum held on 16th August, 2014 at Arewa House, Kaduna under the chairmanship of Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Sule where it was resolved that all avenues must be explored towards enthroning a President of Northern extraction in the forthcoming 2015 elections.
“Despite Jega’s public admission that the commission has all funds it requires to conduct the 2015 elections, we are aware that the Northern Elders Forum obtained and distributed 150 pieces of laptops to INEC for each of the Northern states.
“In addition, Jega reportedly directed the release of PVCs in their catchment states to Emirs, District Heads and top politicians and not necessarily to the voters themselves, a situation that culminated in some voters being in possession of two to three PVCs.
“This accounted for nearly 100 per cent PVC collection rate, especially in the North West states, as compared with less than 50 per cent collection rate in the Southern states. This is the reason why Lagos State, with a sophisticated population of over 5.2 million, has not been distributed more 2.5 million PVCs.”