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Afenifere rejects additional 30,000 polling units

Published by Tribune on Wed, 10 Sep 2014


The Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, on Tuesday, rejected the distribution of the additional 30, 000 polling units proposed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), demanding that the action be reserved immediately.Besides, Afenifere also said it would pass a vote of no confidence on the chairman of the commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, if the distribution pattern is not corrected.The group argued that the distribution was unacceptable to the South -West region, as it was deliberately skewed to favour the northern part to the detriment of the southern part.A communique issued at the end of a meeting of the group at the residence of its leader, Reuben Fasoranti, in Akure, Ondo State and read by the Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, said 21,000 units were allocated to the northern part of the country, while only 8, 000 were allocated to the entire southern part.According to the group, the rationale behind the action of INEC was questionable as the result of the distribution showed that salient required points and factors were not taken into consideration before arriving at the figures.Afenifere said, 'We condemned the whole exercise as crude in that 21,000 out of the 30,000 was allocated to the north while 8,000 was allocated to the south. We did not understand the kind of demographic abracadabra that made the North West to be allocated 7,906 units, while the entire south was allocated 8000 new polling units.'A war ravaged North East where people are fleeing was allocated 5291 units while the entire South West that is booming with people was allocated 4160 additional units. South East was allocated 1, 166 units while the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) alone, was allocated 1,200 units. We have not known any country where electoral law is changed less a year to the election not to talk of creating additional polling units five to six months to election.'How does Jega wants to migrate voters, who have been given voter cards with the existing codes to the existing units. This exercise is an attempt to create rigging and more importantly, create permanent electoral dominance that will create crisis among Nigerians. We reject in totality and we are passing a vote of no confidence on Jega capacity to conduct free and, fair election if these units are not cancelled immediately'.On the recently concluded national conference, the group, while commending President Goodluck Jonathan, for the convocation of the conference, however, urged him to ensure a complete implementation of the report of the conference.Afenifere tasked the ministerial committee set up by the president on the report of the conference to go a step further to ensure that decisions at the conference are implemented.The Pan Yoruba group enjoined the president to leave a centenary legacy for the country by putting in place true federalism as a system of government in the country.It said, 'We want the president to ensure that the country practices true federalism, let him make this as a centenary legacy for which he will be remembered as Nigeria is tkday remembering Lord Lugard for amalgamation'.The body also commended the yoruba delegates to the conference led by Chief Olu Falae, saying they were able to adequately present the position of the region at the conference.It however asked its members across the region to go back home and support Afenifere's members seeking political offices in the next general election.The meeting was attended leaders like Cheif Olu Falae, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, former governor of Ogun state, Chief Olusegun Osoba, the Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan and Senator Iyiola Omisore, immediate past governor of Ogun state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Senator Gbenga Kaka, Chief Olu Falae, Mr Jimi Agbaje, Chief Segun Ojo, Chief Korede Duyile among others.
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