PVC Issues: 2015 Elections May Be Dead Before Arrival – Soetan

Adeola SoetanAn independent observer of the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards and Continuous Voter Registration Exercise conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Adeola Soetan, has said that the poor conduct of the exercise is a signal for poor 2015 elections.

Speaking about his observations on Sunrise Daily, Mr Soetan who is also the coordinator, Democracy Vanguard, noted that the PVC distribution and voter registration “was a failure” in rural communities in Ogun state, where he led a team of observers.

He added that this sent “a dangerous signal to 2015 elections” hence the organisation’s report on the exercise titled “2015 Election May Be Dead Before Arrival” based on the things INEC failed to do.

He disclosed that a group of farmers who had pooled funds to rent a vehicle to convey them to the centre for registration/collection had signified their disinterest in making new attempts at obtaining their cards after the exercise did not hold at the scheduled place and date.

According to Soetan, they did not know where the INEC office was in their local governments.

He further stressed that there was a lot of attention on the urban centres, noting that the exercise was a “mess” in the rural areas.

“If exchanging my temporary voter card to permanent voter card is this difficult, then what’s going to happen when you are going to use card reader”, he asked, arguing that INEC had disenfranchised millions of Nigerians.

Asked if he had sought any explanation from the electoral umpire, Soetan noted that a top INEC official in Lagos, whose identity he kept undisclosed, had admitted to poor preparation on the umpire’s part.

He wondered why INEC, “one of the well funded institutions in Nigeria”, should record such failure, citing “the condition of some of the machines used for the exercise”.

Despite his reservations about INEC’s performance, Soetan said the situation could still be salvaged.

“I want INEC to assure us and demonstrate practically that 2015 would not be disastrous,” he said.

Analyst Advises INEC To Ensure Adequate Security In Northeast During Elections

soetanA public Affairs Analyst, Adeola Soetan has advised the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof, Attahiru Jega, to ensure that adequate security is provided in the states under emergency rule during any election in the states. 

He said that the turnout may not be impressive because of the psychological effect the attacks on villages in the region had on the citizens of the three states.

According to him, there is uncertainty in the security situation in the northeast, a situation that should be addressed before the 2015 general elections.

He further urged Professor Jega to make sure that the military would provide needed security on the days that the security address the uncertainty . “A suicide bomber can come inform of a voter and decide to bomb the place,” he noted.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Soetan stated that elections could take place in the northeast provided security measures were intensified.

“In an are with uncertain security situation like we have in the northeast,  it is only the brave that will be able to vote. Nigerians are supposed to have the right to vote anywhere without fear,” he stressed.

He also advised the INEC to conduct a re-registration exercise in the states in the northeast because some of the indigenes may have relocated due to the insurgency in the area.







Electoral War Is Worse Than Boko Haram – Soetan

Sunrise -  SoetanThe National Coordinator of Democracy Vanguard, Adeola Soetan, is calling on Nigerian electorates to wake up the potency of their voting powers, as Nigeria prepares for the 2015 general election.

The former Chairman of the National Conscience Party, NCP, was the guest of Channels Television, appearing on the breakfast programme, ‘Sunrise Daily’.

He preached that there was need to educate the Nigerian electorates about the power of their votes, with emphasis on telling them: “Don’t vote for those you think can win, vote for those who can perform.”

He warned that although Nigeria was truly going through tough times with the state of insecurity, it would however be worse if the country failed to address the issue of electoral fairness in the country. He noted “Boko Haram is bad but the electoral war is worse.”

He explained that the politics that involves electorates being bribed with food items and money affects their view of the election, as an impression is created that whoever failed to do same would not win, a situation that leaves even the elites with an impression that even the better candidate would not win.

He explained that despite being the Chairman of the party, he did not vote for the governorship candidate of his party the NCP in Ogun State during an election because he did not feel convinced about his ability to perform. He noted that the candidate might have emerged from his party because the majority believed in him, but that did not affect his personal conviction about the candidate, a stance only possible due to his understanding of his right as an electorate.

His advice was that that there is need for candidates vying for political positions to make their plans known, so that the people can be able to hold them responsible for something when they are voted for.

In order to ensure this, he said that what his organisation was doing was an intervention in the electoral process, displaying the Nigerian Voters’ Handbook which he said was printed by his organisation.

On how to reach over 70 million electorates, Soetan said that after their launch of the book in a press conference on Monday, they would be going to different parts of the country to engage electorates in series of interaction, starting from Ekiti State.

Speaking further on the Nigerian Voters Handbook which has been printed in English language, Mr. Soetan promised that the book would be translated in other Nigerian languages to enable them reach out to more people at the grassroots.

He added that the handbook was a product of research carried out by the Democracy Vanguard, and it corrects many misconceptions, addresses many issues that tend towards educating the people about their rights and creating in them the right perception of the concept of voting.

Analyst Blames Strikes In Nigeria On Government’s Irresponsibility

The Executive Director of Grassroots Watch, Adeola Soetan has said that the irresponsibility of the Federal Government was what caused the series of industrial actions in Nigeria.

Mr Soetan, who was a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, said that strikes by workers or union is recognised legitimately all over the world and that no labour leader will take the action as an option of first choice.

Though the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) just called off a three-day warning strike several other employee of the government including teachers in the Universities and Polytechnics have down tools owing to unresolved disagreements.

Mr Soetan said for any union to embark on a strike, it simply shows the irresponsibility on the part of its employer because the action is not something easy to plan.

He said other options would have been considered to reach a compromise with the government, hence his reason for hinting that no labour leader would resort to strike action as an option of first choice.

He said, “It shows total irresponsibility on the part of government, because strike is not easy to plan, it’s not a child’s play.

“For any labour leader, they want an option of least cost because to plan a strike action, you hold meetings, organise campaigns, meet up with management and government, you also have to get support and legitimacy from all you councils at different levels.”

Watch interview for more details.

Public Sector Has Not Met Expectations Of Nigerians – Adeola Soetan

A member from the Grassroots Watch, Mr. Adeola Soetan has stated that the public sector has not met the expectations of Nigerians.

Mr. Adeola Soetan gave his views on Channels Television’s breakfast show Sunrise Daily, saying ”you don’t expect performance when you don’t have good leadership with qualitative character’’.

Mr. Adeola pointed out that the public sector once performed well in Nigeria, during the old western region under the leadership of Chief Obafemi Awolowo when the resources of the region was used properly to achieve a common goal; free education, for example.

But now, he added, the public sector has been handled by politicians and their representatives, ”where we believe everything should be stolen”.

He made a distinction between the struggling elites and the ruling elites, describing the struggling elites as the ordinary people who steal gold and are taken to jail for 3 years while a another man steals trillions of naira and is given bail by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).