Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, yesterday, faulted former President Olusegun Obasanjo postulation on the reason adduced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for the postponement of the general elections.
Speaking in Akure, Dr Mimiko said available evidence on ground was at variance with the former president’s postulations on why the polls were shifted by the electoral umpire.
On the chances of President Jonathan winning the South West, Dr Mimiko said that Jonathan won in the South West states in 2011 despite the fact that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had no governor in the South West region then.
According to the governor, the elections were postponed not only on security ground but because many eligible voters would have been disenfranchised if the election was held as scheduled last week Saturday.
Mimiko explained that a greater percentage of voters from the South West region would have been disenfranchised in the elections.
According to him, only 52 percent of voters from the region have collected their Permanent Voters’ Cards while a greater number have obtained same in the northern region.
He said: “What is the evidence on ground, it is when you place the evidence on ground side by side with the postulations, you will see that the postulation cannot hold. Talking about the South West, let’s put the security reason aside, let’s look essentially at the possibility of disenfranchising some voters in the South West region because as at February 5, the record that Prof Attahiru Jega gave at the council of chiefs, in all the geo-political zones, South West scored the least in terms of people who have collected the PVC.
“Whereas the average in the North East is 77.8 per cent while South West was 52 per cent. As a matter of facts, in all the zones, it was only South West that scored below 60 per cent. So, we are interested party in the sense that if the election had continued or taken place, we would have been disenfranchised.”
“When you look at the totality of Nigeria, there were still 34 per cent of the cards yet to be collected which is about 23 million Nigerians, and if it took INEC about four years of preparation to distribute only 60 per cent voters card and you had one week to election and even by admission of Prof. Jega himself who said if they had more time it would be better for them to perfect the arrangements.”
Dr Mimiko wondered why some people who claimed to be protecting the interest of the South West region saw the postponement otherwise, while the region has been short-changed in the scheme of PVC distribution.
“Look at the Lagos and Ogun States, Lagos was 38 percent, Ogun was 36 percent and some other states in Nigeria, in this same country are higher. Adamawa was 80 percent, Yobe was 74 percent, Sokoto was 81 percent when Lagos was just 38 percent.
“Yet, if anybody claims he can protect the interest of the South West and would rather will go into that election with only 38 percent of registered voters ready and with the PVC then I leave the judgment to you, so the postulation falls flat on the face of evidence before us.”