By Laureta Akpan
The Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke has noted that credible election is not all about security but how INEC can handle a credible election.
According to him, no registered voter should be prevented from casting their votes by INEC on account of not having the Permanent Voters Card.
The governor gave this caution when the State Independent Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Sylvester Ezeani paid his a courtesy call in his office in Calabar recently.
His said: “The constitution provides that every registered voter has the right to vote. It does not provide for the presentation of PVCs before exercising that right. So we urge that you try as much as possible to achieve 100 percent PVCs distribution, otherwise, it will appear that INEC will be responsible for disenfranchising registered voters and this could have legal consequences and call to question the integrity of the process.
“It is critical that the right (to vote) is not guaranteed by the PVC. PVC is an added technology to facilitate voting, but if I’m registered, I should enjoy that right to vote with or without a PVC, but if you want me to use a PVC which I have no objection to, then you should please make sure that I have access to my PVC. My not having access to my PVC should not deprive me of my right to my civic responsibility of voting.”
Warning on the implications of INEC not getting it right, Governor Imoke said: “I suspect that if we don’t get it right, it will constitute a matter for litigation. It is better we ensure that the right thing is done and let the individuals themselves be the ones to say ‘yes, I have the right, but I have decided not to exercise that right. But when it is the other way round, then we may have serious issues with post-election litigation.”
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