Saturday, 31 January 2015

News Release: Revisiting INEC’s PVCs Distribution



The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law has resolved to revisit the burning issue of PVCs distribution in Nigeria by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). This resolution of ours follows the official release by INEC of its update on the PVCs distribution across the country.

Introduction:  On 27th January, 2015, INEC under the leadership of Prof Attahiru Jega, released to the Nigerian public its update on PVCs distribution across the country. According to INEC, 42, 779, 339 (forty two million, seven hundred & seventy nine thousand, three hundred & thirty nine) PVCs have so far been distributed in the 36 States and the FCT of the Federation. Earlier last week, the Commission said it has procured four million additional PVCs from its contractors and suppliers leaving 10, 491, 866 unprodced. According to the Commission, the total number of registered voters who will vote in the February 2015 General Elections remains 68, 833, 476. The Commission, again, refused to publicly disclose the State-by-State breakdown of its given 68, 833, 476 registered voters.  In view of this, we still rely on the September 2014 official data of the Commission containing the registered voters on State-by-State basis, which was sent to us by the Chairman of INEC himself on 24th September, 2014.

Our thorough investigation of the foregoing in the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as well as the country’s six geopolitical zones using INEC’s National Register of Voters under reference, updated as of September 2014; shows the following new findings:

1.Northwest  (a) Kano State: registered voters 4, 751, 818, PVCs distributed as at 27th January, 2015:  2, 612, 400, (7th January figure-2,717, 185), (b) Kaduna State: registered voters 3, 743, 815, PVCs distributed 2, 976, 628,  (c)  Katsina State: registered voters 2, 928, 046, PVCs distributed 2, 245, 303, (d) Sokoto State registered voters 2, 113, 698, PVCs distributed 1, 211, 717 (same as 7th January figure),  (e) Kebbi State registered voters 1, 459, 374, PVCs distributed 1, 232, 357,  (f)  Zamfara State registered voters 1, 802, 302, PVCs distributed 1,045, 855, ( g) Jigawa State registered voters 1, 817, 087, PVCs distributed 1, 460, 620 (same as 7th January figure). Total registered voters for the Northwest zone 18, 616, 499. Total PVCs distributed 12, 794, 880. Total disenfranchised 5, 871, 619 (note: this includes over four million Igbo resident in Kano, Kaduna, etc who fled and are still fleeing owing to Islamist insurgency abandoning their PVCs in INEC).

2. North-Central: (a) Benue State: registered voters 2, 340, 718, PVCs distributed 1, 132, 187 (7th January figure-1, 132, 178), (b) Plateau State: registered voters 2, 082, 725, PVCs distributed 1, 141, 260, (c) Niger State: registered voters 2, 427, 081 PVCs distributed 1, 250, 379,  (d) Kogi State: registered voters 1, 305, 533, PVCs distributed 773, 193, (e)  Nasarawa State: registered voters 1, 291, 876, PVCs distributed 850, 619,  (f)  Kwara State registered voters 1, 125, 035, PVCs distributed 711, 920. Total registered voters for the North-Central 10, 592, 958. Total PVCs distributed 5, 859, 562. Total disenfranchised 4, 733, 396.

3.Northeast (troubled zone): (a) Bauchi State: registered voters 2, 502, 609, PVCs distributed 1, 745, 441, (b) Gombe State: registered voters 1, 208, 927, PVCs distributed 873, 698, (c) Yobe State: registered voters 1, 203, 224, PVCs distributed 740, 336 (same as 7th January figure), (d) Adamawa State: registered voters 1, 682, 907, PVCs distributed 1, 239, 820 (7th January figure- 912, 312), (e) Taraba State: registered voters 1, 279, 394, PVCs distributed 1,079, 338 (7th January figure-921, 637), (f)  Borno State: registered voters 2, 570, 349, PVCs distributed  999, 470. Total registered voters for Northeast 10, 447, 410. Total PVCs distributed 6, 678, 148.  Total disenfranchised 3, 769, 262.

4.Southwest: (a) Lagos State: registered voters 5, 426, 391, PVCs distributed 2, 267, 039 (7th January figure- 2, 159, 091), (b) Oyo State: registered voters 2, 487, 132, PVCs distributed 1, 156, 573, (c)  Ogun State: registered voters 1, 796, 024, PVCs distributed 666, 756 (7th January figure- 930, 276), (d)  Ondo State: registered voters 1, 472, 237, PVCs distributed 824, 715 (same as 7th January figure), (e)  Osun State: registered voters 1, 318, 120, PVCs distributed  995, 562 (7th January figure-992, 310), (f)  Ekiti State: registered voters 688, 950, PVCs distributed 492, 869 ( 7th January figure- 481, 198). Total registered voters for Southwest 13, 188, 854. Total PVCs distributed 6, 403, 534 (7th January figure-6, 419, 003, in deficit of 15, 469). Total disenfranchised 6, 785, 320.

5.South-south: (a) Rivers State: registered voters 2, 466, 977, PVCs distributed 1, 253, 606 (same as 7th January figure),  (b)  Delta State: registered voters 2, 044, 372, PVCs distributed 1, 422, 595, (c) Edo State: registered voters 1, 593, 488, PVCs distributed 1, 046, 960, (d) Cross River State: registered voters 1, 169, 469, PVCs distributed 776, 977, (e)  Akwa Ibom State: registered voters 1, 621, 798, PVCs distributed 1, 328, 714,  (f) Bayelsa State: registered voters 590, 679, PVCs distributed 386, 125. Total registered voters for South-south 9, 486, 811. Total PVCs distributed 6, 214, 977. Total disenfranchised 3, 271, 834.

6. Southeast: (a) Anambra State: registered voters 1, 784, 536, PVCs distributed 1, 222, 002, (b) Imo State: registered voters 1, 672, 666, PVCs distributed 682, 046 (same as 7th January figure), (c) Abia State: registered voters 1, 387, 844, PVCs distributed 1, 020, 997( 7th January figure- 1, 020, 601), (d) Enugu State: registered voters 1, 313, 128, PVCs distributed 738, 933 (7th January figure- 662, 445), (e) Ebonyi State: registered voters 1, 020, 011, PVCs distributed 714, 351. Total registered voters for Southeast 7, 178, 185. Total PVCs distributed 4, 378, 329.
Total disenfranchised 2, 799, 856.

7. FCT (Federal Capital Territory-Abuja): Total Registered Voters 892, 628, PVCs distributed 459, 913. Total disenfranchised 432, 715.

Analysis:
1. Total PVCs distributed in twenty days (from 7th January to 27th January, 2015)=4, 004, 948
2.Total PVCs distributed in ten days= 2,002, 474
3. Total PVCs distributed since 2014 up till  27th January, 2015=42, 779, 339(note: these official accounts have not been independently verified)
4. Total Nigerian registered voters disenfranchised as of date=26, 054,137
5. Total PVCs not yet produced and delivered to INEC as at 27th January 2015=10, 491, 866.
6. Total Registered Voters as of September 2014 as contained in the INEC’s National Register of Voters=70, 383, 427
7. Total Registered Voters randomly and arbitrarily deleted by INEC leading to issuance of a new figure of 68, 833, 476=1, 543, 961
8. State-by-State breakdown of the deleted registered voters of 1, 543, 961=not given by INEC till date
9. State-by-State breakdown of 68, 833, 476 registered voters penciled down to vote in the February polls=not given by INEC till date.

Further Analysis:
10. Total Registered Voters as at 27/1/2015, in the entire North including the FCT; using INEC’s supplied data of September 2014=40, 549, 586
11.Total Registered Voters in the entire South using same data=29, 853, 850
12. Total number of PVCs holders in the entire North as at 27th January, 2015=25, 332, 590
13. Total number of PVCs holders in the entire South as at same date=16, 996, 840
14. Total number of Registered Voters that received their PVCs in the entire North from 7th January to 27th January 2015=2, 950, 113.
15. Total number of Registered Voters that received theirs in the entire South in the same period=845, 542.
              
Shocking Findings:
16. The number of available PVCs in five States in the Northwest (Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi and Jigawa)- 10, 527, 308; is  equal in number in respect of those in the entire eleven States in the South-south and the Southeast zones (10, 593, 306). That is to say  that whereas there are 10, 527, 308 PVCs holders in the five States of the Northwest zone alone, there are 10, 593, 306 PVCs holders in the entire eleven States of the South-south and the Southeast zones.

17. There are 6, 678, 148 PVCs in the troubled Northeast, whereas only 4, 378, 329 are available in the five peaceful States of the Southeast.

18.The number of PVCs distributed as at 27th January 2015 in the  13 States of the Northwest and the Northeast(Boko Haram insurgency area) is much higher than the total number of PVCs distributed in the entire 17 States of the Southwest, the South-south and the Southeast zones.  That is to say that whereas 19, 473, 028 PVCs  have been distributed in the referenced 13 States of the two of the three geopolitical zones of the North; only 16, 996, 840 PVCs have been distributed in the entire 17 States of the South.

Our Interest:
Our main interest in all these is to expose obviously lopsided handling of issue of voting rights by INEC in Nigeria; from management of the National Register of Voters, registration of eligible adults to production, issuance and distribution of PVCs to registered Nigerian voters. In a heterogeneous and complex society like Nigeria, pluralistic policies and procedures remain the best approach. In the world over, voting rights is very fundamental to the survival and sustenance of democracy and anything that will lead to disenfranchisement must be maximally avoided.

Operating double-standard policies in a highly fragile society like ours can spell doom. By the foregoing, rested in the basket of empiricism, INEC’s shifting of blames to Nigerian registered voters; has been dealt a fatal blow. It is entirely the fault of INEC owing to its sheer incompetence and double standard policies and procedures. Adult Nigerians, both registered voters and non-registered ones particularly in the South, who became disenchanted and told the Commission to go to hell with its activities; including continuous voters registration, re-validation and collection of PVCs, should not be blamed.  In the North, leniency and proxy methodology are the order of the day.

To avoid plunging Nigeria into chaos, INEC must find ways that are favourable to all geopolitical zones in respect of voting power and voting rights so as to give most; if not all registered Nigerian voters unhindered opportunities to choose their next President  & Commander-in-Chief  freely come February 14, 2015. If Jega’s INEC insists on conducting the referenced polls particularly the Presidential,  with these shockingly and alarmingly lopsided PVCs distribution in the country’s six geopolitical zones, it will be too risky to try and catastrophically unprecedented.

Unless, these perceived crooked scientific experiments are de-experimented as a matter of uttermost immediacy, otherwise, there is likelihood of one of the main political parties rejecting outright the Presidential results and retire to the cocoon of self help justice. Our question to Jega’s INEC is: If it has taken the Commission twenty days to distribute only 4,004, 948 PVCs under sustained local and international pressures, what is the possibility of the Commission distributing the remaining 26, 054, 137 PVCs including delivery of the unproduced 10, 491, 866 fourteen days to the referenced polls?

Signed:

For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
              
Emeka Umeagbalasi, B.Sc. (Hons.) Criminology & Security Studies
 Board Chairman, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
+2348174090052
  info@intersociety-ng.org, emekaumeagbalasi@yahoo.co.uk
                
Chiugo Onwuatuegwu, Esq., (LL.B. BL), Head, Democracy & Good Governance program

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