By Our Correspondent
Cross River State governor, Senator Liyel Imoke has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to ensure that the failure that characterized yesterday’s Presidential and National Assembly election is avoided in the April 11 governorship and House of Assembly polls.
Imoke, who gave the charge shortly after casting his vote at the Government Primary School, Itigidi, Abi Local Government Area, advised that INEC should not use the malfunctioning of card readers as a basis to disenfranchise innocent Nigerians, no matter where they find themselves.
He maintained: “The most important thing in voting is that everybody must have the right to vote and you must not disenfranchise anyone for failure of equipment, it is wrong and INEC must admit that.”
Continuing, the governor pointed out: “We have a situation where the machine fails and they do not have enough incident forms, and it is so unfair. If using a machine was to give the process credibility, I don’t think we have achieved that in this election. I believe that the card reader machine has failed woefully. It is most unfortunate, there is no basis for this.”
Lamenting what he said was INEC insistence on the use of card reader, Governor Imoke said: “This is what we continually emphasized that card readers should not disenfranchise Nigerians and INEC has recognized this fact that when the card reader fails, manual voting should be used. We have received a series of complaints and challenges which I hope at the end of the day we will overcome them and credible election achieved.
“We hope that these are not the experiences nationwide, let’s hope that the election will be credible and we hope that the future election, INEC will look at some of these issues raised and managed them properly for our common interest because what Nigerians clamor for is credible elections,” Imoke stressed.
On his expectation of the outcome of yesterday’s polls in Cross River State, Imoke said: “As a PDP state, which is acknowledged by even the opposition parties, we expect nothing but an overwhelming victory at the end of this exercise.”
While acknowledging the contribution of the law enforcement agents before and during the exercise, the governor added: “From the reports gotten so far, the conduct of the exercise across the state has been very peaceful and orderly because the security agents are working very hard and Cross River State being a peaceful state, our elections are often quite peaceful.”
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