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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

OPC Demands Jega's Removal!

OPC holds peaceful protest in Lagos

Why we want Jega removed

The Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), yesterday held a peaceful protest in Lagos to press home its demand for the removal of the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Atahiru Jega, over what it termed biased tendencies. The protest, which started at 10am at the 7up bust stop, old toll gate, witnessed a huge a turn-out of about 150,000 members of the OPC alongside top Nollywood actors and actresses. The protest started with a musical performance by popular fuji acts, Obesere, Osupa and Pasuma.

The charged atmosphere set the mood for the day, as the people moved from 7up, through Maryland, Palmgrove, and terminating at the National Stadium at 2pm. The National Coordinator of the OPC, Otunba Gani Adams, who addressed the huge crowd, said the OPC was no longer comfortable with Prof Jega as chairman of the electoral body.

He cited the newly created 30,000 polling units in the north of the country as one example of Jega sins. "You can imagine the chairman of INEC creating an additional 30.000 polling units in the north. That definitely is an undue advantage by the north over the west and other parts of the country. That is not fair."

The OPC leader also cited the alleged registration of underage voters in parts of the north as another reason why Prof Jega should be removed. "All the signs that we get are just too bad. How come young children who are not old enough to vote are allowed to register in the north? Pro Jega, by all his actions have proved that he is biased.

“You look at the number of voters who have collected their PVC, and they have told us that there are more in the north. It is laughable that even in Borno State where the Boko Haram insurgents have taken over more than half of the local government areas, INEC wants us to believe that more people have collected PVCs. This surely cannot be ordinary. Until these things are reversed, Prof Jega cannot be fit to conduct a free and fair election."

Meanwhile, we have followed events since the protest march and discovered that lots of wrong and false reports are being spread around.

Against this widespread rumour and distorted reports by some section of the media that the peaceful protest march by the OPC was marred with violence, we would want to put it on record that there was no single record of violence all through the period of the protest.

It therefore came to us as a shock and surprise that Channels Television in its report aired at about 10:25pm on Monday, March 16, 2015, featured a picture with men displaying firearms. On closer look, we have discovered that that picture was shot in 2011 during a protest by the Fashun-led OPC to protest the threat by Boko Haram to invade the south west.

Channels TV's decision to use this clip is a huge surprise, because their crew did not come to cover the protest despite invitation being sent to them. However, it must be noted that has in no way diminished our respect for Channels Television.

It is on record that the protest was done in collaboration with other respected Nollywood personalities and it is to our credit that it was well-organised and devoid of any ugly incident.

We would, however, wish to advice the media to maintain the unbiased umpire role it has always played in issues like this.

Thank you.

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