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Doubts over 7.7 million signatures as TAN holds North-Central rally tomorrow

The Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) which first held its rally in Awka, Anambra State, for the South-east region, had announced at the venue of the rally that it had collated over 1.8 million signatures in support of its cause to see Jonathan return to office in 2015, while in Ibadan, the venue for the South-west zonal  rally  it displayed 1.8 million signatures and in Port Harcourt, for the South-south region,  it displayed a register of 4.1 million people which it says are supporting its course.
Checks by our correspondents revealed that there were no registration in most of the states in the zones prior to the rally and there were no clearly designated centres for people to register.
 Most residents spoken to in the respective states said they were not aware of such an exercise hence could not have registered with the group.
As the group heads for Minna, Niger State for its North-central zonal rally tomorrow, checks by our correspondent revealed that there was no visible act of collating signatures going on in the states in the region 48 hours to the rally.
A survey conducted by Daily Trust in Minna, Kontagora and Suleja indicated that the collation of signatures has not started as no designated centres could be identified for such purpose in the three zones.
But the Niger State TAN coordinator, Musa Kolo, said registration and collation of signatures started since Monday at state level with the PDP youth wing and with the women leaders while he said at the local government it was going on in the wards.
A statement by the Secretary to the Government of Niger State,  Saidu Ndako Idris Kpaki, yesterday, said the collation of signatures which started on Monday saw over one million people registering across the 25 local government areas in the state.
“The signatories include youths, market women, businessmen and women and party members,” he said.
Our correspondent in Rivers State could not locate a single individual that had agreed to registering in the exercise more than three weeks after the register was displayed.
Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim had said the signatures were collated through an on-line random sampling, adding Rivers State has 1,400,000, Bayelsa-516,000, Cross River, 520,000, Edo, 490,000 and Delta-750,000.
A source in Port Harcourt who pleaded anonymity told our correspondent that the signatures may not be genuine.
“They said 4.1 million people from Niger Delta signed the signatures and that it was collated online. Which medium did they use to collate the signatures? Who are the people that append their signatures. Are the signatures verifiable? If it is verifiable, they should  publish it so that people can verify it” he said.
Our correspondents in the other North-central states of Benue, and Kogi could also not locate any registration centre and have not come across anybody who knows how it is done.
TAN director of Strategy, Ben Chuks Nwosu, when contacted however, said the process is credible and that the signatures so far collated are verifiable.
 He said what TAN does is to supply the registers to prominent members of the PDP in the respective states who in turn call on members of the public to come to either their houses of offices to register.
“Those signatures are genuine and verifiable,” he stated.
 But the checks by our correspondent revealed that there were no announcements informing people of the exercise.
In Kwara State, it was learnt that the state chapter of the PDP is not involved in the TAN rally scheduled for Minna and there were no indications as at yesterday that the state was collating signatures.
Spokesman of the PDP, Chief Rex Olawoye, said the rally is not a PDP affair but organised by some members of the party to rally support for the President.
But our correspondent reported that two registration points were opened at opposite Metropolitan Square in Ilorin.
In Kogi, some of the residents who spoke to our reporter said  they are not aware of such arrangements.
Daily Trust could not reach the state chairman of the party, Hassan Salau as he was said to be indisposed. But a source within the party told our reporter that there was no such arrangement in the state.
In Benue, government officials as well as party officials said they are not aware of the registration.

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