By Simon Ebegbulem
FORMER Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Rowland Owie, Tuesday, faulted the call by some Nigerians that a new voter’s register should be used for the forthcoming gubernatorial re-run election in Delta State.
Describing the call as illegal, Owie commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for insisting that the election be conducted with the old register, which according to him was lawful.
He spoke to newsmen in Benin City, pointing out that all pre-election conditions in the state had been met before the 2007 governorship election, therefore, the conditions remains since the court ordered for a fresh election.
“I am shocked that a number of people have called on INEC to prepare a new voters register before the re-run election in Delta can be conducted. It is very shocking that we Nigerians don’t read, we seem to be very illiterate. When a re-run election is ordered, what it means is that the condition precedent to what happened in the year of the election continues, that is why no new candidates are admitted to run in a re-run.
“It is assumed by law, that elections are being conducted at the point when the election formally held before the court ruled, so to even the use new voters register is illegal. What is legal is the old voters register, which was used in the 2007 elections. Now that a re-run was ordered, that is the one that has to be used and that is why no new candidate can take part in the re-run election.
“So INEC is quite in order and right to conduct election on the date fixed and they don’t need a new voters register. As a matter of fact, they don’t need to give number of days to display voters register,” he added.