Don't grant Jega any more funds The appointment of Professor Attahiru Jega as INEC's Chairman without apologises, is a mistake. This man will be Nigeria's greatest disaster of the twenty-first century if he is not humbly remove from the exalted position he presently occupy. To me, Attahiru Jega, perfectly exemplify the adage that says ÔÇô ÔÇśnot all that glitters is gold'. Right from the onset, every move Jega made was tailored towards failure. He took eternity to figure out how much he needs to pursue his programmes; he spent so much resources talking about what Nigerians should expect from his INEC, thereby wasting valuable and precious time granting interviews to all newshounds that ever bother to seek audience with him. Just when one thought he was getting his priorities right, he again made another blunder of recruiting youth corp members and final year students in federal university, at the detriment of the more competent Information and Technology graduates who are roaming the streets in search of jobs. His explanation this time, was to save cost and to reduce the manipulations of politicians; with all the security mechanisms put in place by his commission, I wonder how politicians could have used I.T experts to falsify the registration process in their favours. Now we are saddled with an addition one week extension to the period of registration of voters, because Jega's dubious machines and incompetent ad hoc staff have failed to accomplished the task under the allotted time. So where is the prudency he talked glowingly about? The desire to have free and transparent elections, should not blind Nigerians into falling preys to the whims and caprices of certain people who are bent on using the opportunity to enrich themselves. In the last four months of Jega's stewardship, I have not seen any clear departure from the disastrous Iwuh's era. The only difference is that Nigerians seem to believe in Professor Jega much more than they did with Maurice Iwuh. After two weeks of commencement of the voters' registration exercise, complaints are still pouring in torrents. Not even in Iwuh's era did we witness this outpour of disappointment. Not also forgetting that Iwuh never got a quarter of the money Attahiru Jega got, just to prosecute elections. It's painful to see how gullible we seem to become in this country. All along the impression we had was that the DDC machines acquired by INEC, were special machines designed only for elections, but amazingly what is on display at the registration centres are mere laptops attached with accessories like finger scanners and printers. Yet INEC took a life time to acquire just 120,000 units, when these machines can easily be sourced in no time from retailers across the country. For how much did INEC acquire a unit of the DDC machine? Under what form of contract bidding did Zinox computers edge out other competitors to become the preferred bidder? Recently the Chief Executive Officer of Zinox computer, Leo Stanley admitted to have worked with INEC in the past; so I take it that the man was among those who supplied Iwuh's INEC the machines we used to registered for 2007 elections. Can this man honestly tell us what happened to those machines and why we couldn't use them to supplement the ones bought for this present registration. Those who kept vowing for Jega's honesty and competent, are obviously not in tune with the reality of our present situation, or are direct beneficiaries of his glaring ineptitude. A man that keep running from pillar to post, can only be said to be confuse; while not failing to use every opportunity to demand for addition funds when he has not justify the ones he collected. Could we have exhausted 89 billion naira, by just buying and shipping in 120,000 units of DDC machines? Didn't Jega get the entire money when it was approved, which could probably be why he is always short of cash? Or are we just witnessing another tragedy of our nationhood where a group is taking our resources to the cleaner as a result of our desperation for free and credible elections? At the time the world over have acknowledged China to be a major producer of inferior items, the owner of Zinox computers have the effrontery to talk about patriotism, after shipping laptops from there for our registration. The sub-standard nature of these machines is there for everyone to see. Majority of these machines parked up few hours after they are powered. Yet our dear professor Jega, said they are made to specification. Whose specification? Nigeria's specification? China's specification? Zinox specification? Or Jega's specification? From Jega's accounts and body language, INEC has exhausted more than 89 billion Naira already, without even conducting any of the elections the money was earmarked for. He now needs 6.6 billion naira to execute the one week voters' registration extension he was granted. Only God knows how many more billions he will be asking for, when the actual elections come. It's easy to predict the political quagmire awaiting us in April 2011, if Jega continue on this aimless, fruitless and costly meanders he called programmes, to usher free and fair 2011 polls. Is time we come to term with the fact that Professor Jega lacks the ability to galvanise the human and material resources needed to give us the changes, we are clamouring for in our electoral system. The Delta state gubernatorial rerun and the ongoing voters' registration are all visible signposts to the man's incompetence. What other proofs do we need? I hope I am not alone in faulting this man ÔÇô Professor Attahiru Jega. But if I am, I am proud to stand alone for my country and its people. By Olurotimi Adeola This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.