Chuks Okocha in Abuja
Insist that Jega must address complaints from PDP in Kano, Kaduna other states
There was a mild drama at the Presidential Collation Centre at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, when a former Minister, Godsday Orubebe held up the collation of the Presidential election results in the presence of security agents.
Orubebe, who is representing President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP, said his grouse was that the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega refused to pay attention to the petition submitted by PDP against the election results in some northern states, including Kano, but has acted on the petition submitted by the APC on the conduct of the presidential election in Rivers state.
For close to thirty minutes, Orubebe who was a former Minister of the Niger Delta and a former governorship aspirant in Delta refused to allow for the collation of the presidential results, insisting that Jega and his national commissioners should address the petition submitted by the PDP against the conduct of the elections in Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa, Bauchi and other states.
Orubebe who refused to be moved accused the INEC chairman of selective management of the election issues, stating further that PDP has lost confidence on what he is doing as the head of the Election Management Body.
Shouting on top of his voice, Orubebe who dared the security agents to arrest him kept shouting, “You have refused to listen to our protest. We have lost confidence in you and we don’t believe in you anymore. We have complained against the election results from Kano, Kaduna, and Katsina.
“You are partial and tribalistic. We won’t take it anymore until something is done. He returned our protests to us. We complained against Kaduna and he hurriedly went to set up a committee for Rivers. Let him set up a committee to go to Kano, Kaduna and Katsina. He is playing a script, we won’t allow it. This country belongs to everybody, Jega has nothing to reply. He did not reply us.“
At this stage, the INEC chairman attempted to respond, but Orubebe would not let go, as he continued to shout and the security officials were helpless.
Orubebe continued: “You cannot respond here. In Rivers state, he did it here. Go to your office and do what you did in your office. Let him go to his office and do it. We complained to him quietly in his office and he sent somebody to throw our letter to us.
“Let him go to his office. Jega cannot be selective and partial. Let him go to his office.“In the issue of Rivers state, he responded in his office. Let him go to his office and do it, the way he did in Rivers state. Let him go to his office, I am a Nigerians. Jega cannot be treating people selectively. We want peace in this country. Let Jega do things rightly. Let him go to his office, I won’t go to his office. Jega is not empowered by the constitution to be selective. This is not the power given to Jega. This thing cannot continue. If Jega want to continue, I will come back here.”
Jega, who was not worried, said, “We are ready to continue with the collation”, but Orubebe won’t let go.
Orubebe continued shouting, “You cannot continue. Why will he not respond to our issues? We protested yesterday and he threw our protests at us. The constitution of Nigeria does not empower Jega to be partial and selective and we will not take it“.
At this stage, Col. Peter Fadile: queried why the APC results are the same with what INEC is releasing.
After much entreaties, Orubebe left the stage and Jega gave his own version of what transpired with the PDP agents, saying, “Yesterday, after we took the first batch of result, as I was walking back to the office, my PA came to present a paper from Dr. Fadile. I told him that I did not ask him to collect any letter from any one and that he return the letter to Fadile.
Jega said that thereafter, Fadile sent him a text message about the petition, saying, “I told him that I don’t accept petitions from here that they should go to the INEC office as this is a collation centre where results are being released. The Secretary is in INEC office. As I speak to you now, I have not seen any petition.”
Jega also said that he was unaware APC was getting their results, saying, I did not give results to anybody. I have not seen or given anybody result. How can I speak on anything that I have not seen?”
He admonished the former Minister, saying, “Orubebe you a former minister and a statesman. Be careful of your public conduct.”
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