By Festus Ahon
UGHELLI â€”AHEAD of the 2011 general elections, a pressure group, Urhobo Voters Forum, UVF, hasÂ vowed to resist all forms of electoral fraud in future elections in the country.
In a statement by its National Chairman, Chief Chris Obiuwevbi, the group stated that there had been too many allegations and counter-allegations of electoral fraud in the countryâ€™s polity, stressing that it was now time to nip it in the bud.
The group said:Â â€œBut we make bold to say that this shall be a thing of the past as our group, Urhobo Voters Forum, is poised to put an end to this cankerworm which has led to the deprivation of political benefits by the electorates.
â€œThe Urhobo Voters Forum is given birth to due to the dire need to ensure that there is political revival and redemption in Urhobo land in particular, Delta State and Nigeria, at large.
â€œOur mission is, therefore, to ensure that the peoplesâ€™ votes count. Therefore, the votes must be protected and guarded jealously. In other words, a voter shall not be entitled to more than one vote.
â€œWe shall embark on a high-powered strategy to realized our vision and mission. Public sensitization, education and orientation of the electorates shall highly be embarked upon from the urban to the rural area. This orientation shall include the exposure of the various strategies used to ring elections in the past in Nigeria.
â€œAlso the Urhobo people shall be educated through a routine town hall, village square and one-on- one meeting on ways to protect their votes.
â€œThis shall involve the movement of materials from INEC headquarters to the office of the Resident Electoral Commissioner. Movement of these same materials to the local government headquarters and the onward disbursement to the various wards and units for election purposes.
â€œThe Urhobo people shall insist through the agents of the various parties and even communities leaders and NGOs to verify all electoral papers and materials whether they are in complete form before any election can take place.
â€œOur Urhobo people must witness a tremendous free and fair election in any subsequent election as any form of ringing, fraud, malpractices and manipulation shall be resisted with the last drop of their lives if the need arises.
â€œAlso, we shall in no small measure help to strengthen internal democracy. The imposition ofÂ candidates in the various political parties has contributed in no small measure in skyrocketing the crises in general election. The present political dramatic crises in Anambra State would have easily be avoided if proper internal democratic culture was observed.
â€œIn our quest to bring sanity to the Nigeriaâ€™s democratic business, which of course is the basis of our future existence for rapid development we shall not leave any stone unturned, mostly in our state, Delta.â€