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The Metropolitan Club – If you think you are surrounded by idiots (Concluded)

QUOTE: Indeed, some of the founding fathers of the club would have had to reflect on the efficacy of their strategy to sustain the standards of good governance – transparency, probity, integrity and accountability

Agbamuche-Mba, whose focus was on security during elections, noted that: “Elections in Nigeria is just like going to war. In Port Harcourt during the last elections, I saw it all. I was there. INEC staff and sensitive electoral materials were being transported in armoured vehicles yet people threw dynamites at the moving armoured vehicles. Is this not war? What can better be described as war than this?”

Therefore, in readiness for the November 16 governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States, she said, “We are looking unto the political parties that they will be kind to the people of Bayelsa by doing what they are expected to do. “We are going to use smart card readers and where it fails, which I believe it won’t, we will come back again, because we are ready for this election and I pray that the political class will allow us do our work”.

She however warned that INEC would record zero votes for parties in areas, where there are violence or ballot box snatching during the elections.

“There will be no hijacking of ballot boxes, because if they are hijacked, the area is going to get zero votes,” Agbamuche-Mbu said, reiterating that the commission would work to ensure that the poll did not result in inconclusive election.

Read also: First time ever, 8 NNPC subsidiaries declare record N83.9bn surplus

But Zakari said that where it was evidently established that the people were disenfranchised, the election might be declared inconclusive, because there would be another election. According to her, “INEC doesn’t deliberately go out to declare an election as inconclusive, but where the people are disenfranchised and it is clearly so, the commission will have no reason than to postpone the election and conduct it the next day. So, you can see why inconclusive elections are inevitable?”

However, preparing the minds of the people for certain possibilities, Soyebi said one of the challenges that would mar the conduct of the elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States was the possibility of vote buying by the political parties.

He said, “No doubt about it. In the Kogi State governorship election, money will flow like rivers but INEC would be equal to the task. Relevant security agencies  will fish them out. We have a strategy to do this. The cat will not be let out of the bag now.”

He pledged that there would be punctuality of personnel and materials as well as adequacy of electoral materials, including the smart card readers, vehicles and all that would be required for the election to run smooth.

Pastor Monday Tom, INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Bayelsa, hinted earlier that the number of smart card readers for the state was 2,337, out of which 86 were faulty and 2251 functional.

He also told the gathering the total number of registered voters in the state was 923,182, while the number of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) collected was 889,308.

For the Kogi analysis, INEC stated that the state had registered 1,646,350 voters, but that the PVCs collected were 1,485,828 across all the 21 local government areas of the state. INEC further stated that there would be 2,548 polling units, 2,548 presiding officers, 3,508 voting points and 12,804 Assistant Presiding Officers.

According to the commission, there would a total of 12,132 ad-hoc staff, including 255 Senior Presiding Officers, 26 Collection Officers and 240 Registration Supervisors.”

By way of contrast, Britain held elections on 12th December 2019. Voting started at 8 am and closed at 10pm. Police were not involved. Neither were the military. There was no restriction of movement and no public holiday was declared.

Even before voting was over, the exit polls indicated that the Conservative Party had won and Boris Johnson, the incumbent would be returned as Prime Minister. Within a matter of hours, Jeremy Corbyn, the opposition leader had conceded defeat. All over England, Wales; Scotland and Northern Ireland – the principalities which constitute the United Kingdom, not a single election petition was filed. Neither were there reports of kidnapping, snatching of ballot boxes or setting of poll stations on fire. Strange country!!

Where were their idiots?

Many of the founding fathers of the Metropolitan Club would have preferred an early exit to reading about child rape which is all over social media:

“Adegboyega Adenekan, a school supervisor, has just been jailed for 60 years for defiling a two-year-old girl under his care. Sentencing him on Thursday, Justice Sybil Nwaka of the Ikeja (Lagos State) domestic violence and sexual offences court described the beast as “wicked”, conscienceless and an animal who is not worthy of walking on the streets of Lagos.”

Indeed, some of the founding fathers of the club would have had to reflect on the efficacy of their strategy to sustain the standards of good governance – transparency, probity, integrity and accountability. Nothing could have prepared them for the front-page headline of “Daily Sun” newspaper of December 6, 2019.

Headline: Auditor-general seeks sanction of NPA MD

Accuses agency of contract award scandal of ₦7.5 billion

“The Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF), Anthony Ayine, has uncovered irregularities in the award, execution and payment for contract for Shore Erosion Control Works at Akipelai, Ayakoro and Otuoke towns in Bayelsa State at a contract sum of N7,503,344,599 by the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA).

Ayine, in his 2017 audit report of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), said the gigantic contract was awarded via a letter with reference number: HQ/GME/CP/CON/R.16/067 dated March 22, 2012 with 14 months’ completion period.

As at November 11, 2015, four payment certificates and an advance payment totalling N4,247,938,353.26, representing 56.61 per cent of the contract sum, had been paid to the contractor.

Review of documents and the Bill of Quantities (BOQs) under Bill No. 1 (general) attached to these payments revealed that: mobilization fee of N1,125,501,659.85 paid to the contractor, was supported by a conditional bank guarantee from Zenith Bank Plc. with a validity period of 365 days which expired on March 2, 2013, contrary to the provisions of Section 35 “1” “a” of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and Financial Regulations 2933 “I” (2009) which only provide for submission of an unconditional bank guarantee or insurance bond.

More than four years after expiration of the bank guarantee, the contractor failed to renew it and the balance of unrecovered advance payment stood at N539,452,959. The sum of N19.5 billion(sic) was paid for the purchase of three Toyota Hilux double cabin petrol engine vehicles. However, there was no evidence to confirm that these vehicles were purchased.

The sum of N13.5 billion(sic) was “made” (sic) for annual running cost of the project vehicles, in which N6.75 billion was certified and paid to the contractor, but there was no evidence to show what the amount was used for.

The report further revealed that N11.25 billion(sic) certified for compensation of properties to be affected by the project and paid per Certificate No. 3, had no records on how the money was utilised nor the beneficiaries involved.

N12.5 billion(sic) provided for community relations, was certified and paid vide Certificate No. 3 with no supporting documents to validate the payment. N128 million provided for insurance of the works and insurance against damages to persons and properties, was certified and paid through Certificate No. 3 with No evidence that any insurance policy(s) was undertaken. The Principal Manager’s (QS) report on Interim Valuation Certificate No. 4 dated November 11, 2015, showed that the value of works executed as at the period was N3,903,668,868 representing 52.07 percent of contract sum.”

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