The General Secretary of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Mr Murtala Mohammed, has appealed to IMANI Africa to allow the Electoral Commission (EC) to carry out its mandate as far as the compilation of a new voters register is concerned.
He wondered why the policy think-tank had been on the throat of the EC on the issue.
IMANI and CSOs
Since announcing its intention to compile a new voters register, 18 civil society organisations (CSOs), including IMANI Africa, have asked the EC to drop the decision, describing it as unnecessary, as it would overburden the country financially.
The CSOs also described the EC’s efforts as a wasteful duplication at great expense.
“The EC’s claims that it will cost just $56 million to procure a new system, while the cost of refreshing and maintaining the existing one would cost $74 million, are dangerous untruths.
“A sham tender recently completed by the EC has revealed that the EC plans to spend $72 million on hardware alone. IMANI believes that by the time software and services are added, the total costs for technology alone will amount to $85 million,” IMANI Africa is quoted as having said in a statement.
Blowing hot air
But reacting to the issue in a statement, Mr Mohammed said IMANI Africa had no concrete and convincing submissions to critique what the EC was doing.
“I have been following IMANI Africa on the matter regarding the new voters register, and it is not sincere to the facts at all,” he said.
According to him, IMANI Africa, on many occasions, had been skewed in its posture towards issues of national interest, and asked it to allow the EC to carry out its constitutional mandate.
“The EC has diligently given reasons for a new register to include expiration of contract with STL, EC’s inability to manage the BVMS, the equipment’s hard/software are at ‘end of life’ or end of support, poor data capture, hence poor biometric templates storage, as a result it cannot be used for the upcoming general election.
“Not forgetting the high cost of maintenance vis-a-vis a new voters register,” he added.