Group demands sack of Dasuki over poll suspension call

Group demands sack of Dasuki over poll suspension call

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 4:52 pm

Kazeem Ugbodaga

The Democracy Vanguard, DV, has called for the sack of the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki for trying to put the nation in jeopardy when he called for the postponement of next month’s elections.

The group, at a press conference in Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Wednesday
said capitalizing on the public outcry that greeted the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC distribution of the Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs, some people with suspected hidden agenda had been calling for the postponement of February 14 and 28 elections.

Sambo Dasuki: group wants his head

Sambo Dasuki: group wants his head

“Worrisome is the fact that the leading voices of this ‘election postponement orchestra’ are some known friends and supporters of President Goodluck Jonathan who himself is a candidate in the election.

“The recent unintelligent outburst of the Security Adviser to the President, Col. Dasuki (retd,) calling for election postponement lends credence to the suspicion that there might be an underground plan to instigate a situation not conducive for election conduct on Nigeria so as to justify postponement,” said Adeola Soetan, National Coordinator, Democracy Vanguard.

According to him, “A security adviser of Dasuki status is supposed to be seen not to be heard commenting on sensitive issues that can threaten security in the country more so when such suggestion was not based on any validated inference.

“Since INEC has reiterated its commitment to February, Dasuki and members of his postponement orchestra are just busy-bodies that should be watched and warned not to truncate our hard won civil rule. We demand for the immediate sack of Dasuki and we say no to postponement of the elections. The social and security costs of such action may be too grave to bear.”

Soetan decried that “ideally, election period supposed to be a festival for the celebration of democratic culture and values, a market of ideas, principles and programmes where political parties and candidates contend for peoples’ votes, recruit members to their parties in a legitimate drive to acquire political power through the peoples’ mandate where voters will have legitimate right to choose freely and fairly those who will lead them in a free, fair and non – violent credible elections.

“But sadly in our dear country, Nigeria, politicians perceive election as battle-a war of attrition, where all is fair in the desperation to acquire power or hold on to power by all means necessary within the dangerous mantra of: ‘the end justifies the means’. It was the dangerous practice in the past and our ongoing experience has also shown that indeed nothing fundamental has changed in the quest for political power.”
On the PVC, Soetan blamed it on the initial shoddy preparation of INEC in making the cards available to prospective voters who were to exchange their Temporary Voter Cards (TVCs) for the PVCs.

He said this had damaged the credibility of INEC and was capable of immobilising many Nigerians from exercising their franchise in the coming elections, saying that INEC puts itself into the avoidable mess from the beginning by imposing a tight timeframe for the collection of PVCs and insisting that only people with PVCs would be eligible to vote.

Soetan said this regimentation of a simple civic exercise was unnecessary as it appeared punitive, saying that possession of PVCs should have just been an added flavour which voters should have been encouraged to collect.

“In as much as the essence of PVC or TVC is for identification and authentication of voters, INEC should have made both PVC and TVC acceptable at the polls since accreditation and voting would take place at the same time throughout the country with restriction on movement. Multiple voting would be difficult except INEC processes are not foolproof,” he stated.

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