President Goodluck Jonathan’s ambition to have a clean slate in the February 14 election across the South-Easten states may be a mirage, despite the massive support and endorsement he receives from various interest groups in the Southeast.
The Coordinator of the South East Self-determination Coalition (SESDC), Samuel Edeson, and the leader of the Igbo Women Assembly (IWA), Maria Okwor, gave hint of the situation when they said on Friday that there were indications that the president “may actually lose millions of Igbo votes in the election.”
Edeson observed that in spite of the readiness of Ndigbo to vote for Jonathan, “we have noticed the difficulties they have faced in assessing the permanent voters card (PVCs), and this we believe will certainly impact negatively on the volume of votes from the Southeast.”
The IWA leader explained that there is a lack of coordination between the various Igbo groups drumming support for the president, and this is “fueling deep anger amongst many groups and raising fears that the handlers of the president in the zone could be facing conflicts with groups ready to work at cross purposes.”
According to him, “we are also aware that already some groups are planning to mobilise their members to stay at home in protest to what they see as the failure of the president to keep his promises to the Southeast, and has refused to make any concrete promise to the zone; but he is willing to ask for our votes.”
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Chukwuemeka Onukaogu, during a stakeholders meeting with political parties and their candidates in Enugu, said that there were so too unnecessary speculation over the poor distribution of PVCs.
According to him, the initial challenges that trailed the distribution of the cards have been overcome, and INEC had recorded 77 per cent distribution. He said that, before the end of January, all the PVCs would have been fully distributed.