DDC saga: Don’t write INEC off—Presidential aide

By FESTUS AHON

UGHELLI—A FORMER Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in the defunct Bendel State, Olorogun Atuyota Ejughemre, yesterday, said that the on going voters’ registration exercise in the country was fraught with a lot of challenges.

Ejughemre who stated this while fielding questions from newsmen, shortly after he registered in Ughelli Ward 2/6, Oteri, Ughelli North Local Government Area, Delta State, charged the Independet National Electoral Commission, INEC to be diligent with the exercise.

According to him, “the machines are substandard. Some of them, I am told have been infested with virus and have been carried away for repairs.

“Secondly, the persons who were commissioned with the registration, particularly the youth corps members, were not given adequate training, so we are running into problems because they have not been sufficiently exposed,” he added.

“We have already heard stories about how people are being lured with money to go into the riverine areas; people who are not from those areas to be registered and that is a way of inflating figures in the register and that is where rigging of elections begins”

Continuing, he said; “Nigeria as a country is being stressed because of this registration. My advice is that it should be a continuous exercise on a regular basis.”

Commenting on the January 6tth Delta State gubernatorial re_run election, Ejughemre who is a staunch member of the Delta Coalition for Change, said the election was a disaster, adding that; “we have done part ‘A’, part ‘B’ is going to the judiciary.

“So you will see in the next few days that the man who ought to have been declared as governor of the state, who was rigged out will challenge the result in the law court and we will see the consequence of that”

DDC saga: Don’t write INEC off—Presidential aide

Yenagoa—Special Adviser to the President on Government Parastatals, Deacon Braeyi Ekiye, weekend, urged Nigerians not to be despaired over the ability of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct credible polls on account of the technical hitches that had characterised the early take off of the voters’ registration exercise in the country.

Prof Attahiru Jega, he said, on noticing the complaints of Nigerians rose to the challenge by deploying experts across the country to solve the noticeable technical hitches leading to a remarkable improvement in the on going voters registration exercise.

“I want to believe that the present crop of INEC commissioners and chairman are men that are really committed to seeing that they write their names in letters of gold because they will either mar themselves or mar the nation if they do not act appropriate to conduct free, fair and credible elections.

“If INEC is able to react positively to the complaint of the people  and find solution to the problem of its Direct Data Capturing machine, then we should give them a chance,” he added.

Deacon Ekiye whose registration at ward 13 unit 4 at Adagbabiri in Sagbama council area of Bayelsa State did not last more than five minutes urged Nigerians of voting age to come out en masse to register so that they would be in position to elect leaders of their choice.
The presidential reiterated the determination of President Goodluck Jonathan to actualise his one_man_one vote crusade with an appeal to the electorate to defend their vote.

He said it was the collective responsibility of Nigerians to ensure that Mr. President one_man_one vote mantra succeeds.
“Mr. President has repeatedly said this time around it will not be business as usual and that it will be one_man_one_vote, one woman_one_vote, and one_youth_one_vote come the April general elections.

“I believe strongly that will happen. I think that is not just trusting in the federal government, the state government and local government but we also have to look at ourselves. There must be some level of self appraisal. Let the followers also be at the vanguard of ensuring that their votes must count.”

According to him, if anybody is doing anything unwholesome at the booths on election day, other voters have the right to challenge such wrong doing and demand that the right thing be done whether there are security agents there or not.

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