Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has said that peaceful elections in Nigeria cannot be compromised as the nation cannot afford to fail because of its implications for the unity of the country.
Speaking at a Voters Education meeting with traditional rulers in Asaba, the state capital today, Governor Uduaghan wanted all hands to be on deck to ensure that the nation gets it right.
The governor, who said that the consequences of failure in the conduct of the election would be too disastrous for the country asked the Government, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and stakeholders to work together to ensure that the elections are free and fair, devoid of any form of violence.
“As much as possible we want to totally remove violence during elections and one way of achieving this is through proper voter education. You know ignorance can lead to violence and there are so many people out there that are not well informed about issues surrounding the temporary voters’ card, permanent voters’ card, the voting process etc.”
The Governor said everything would be done to ensure that there is no violence during and after the elections, adding: “we are determined to have peaceful elections in Nigeria and Delta State in particular. It is important and very critical that we have peaceful elections.”
According to him there are still about 600,000 permanent voters’ cards that are yet to be collected and urged traditional rulers to inform their subjects to endeavour to collect their voters’ cards before the deadline.
Governor Uduaghan said that Delta State has recorded peaceful electioneering campaigns and informed the traditional rulers that President Goodluck Jonathan would lead the campaign train of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to Asaba tomorrow (Wednesday) for a campaign rally and urged all Deltans to remain peaceful throughout the period.
“We are expecting the visit of the Mr. President to be very peaceful even as the All Progressive Congress (APC) Presidential candidate, Mohammedu Buhari had a peaceful campaign in the state.”
He said that security agencies are collaborating to ensure a hitch-free visit by the President and his team, even as he observed that the State has so far recorded a peaceful electioneering period.
“The beauty of our primaries was that they were all peaceful, candidates emerged, nothing unusual happened as it concerns security issues. We thank God for that because we had some other States in the country where there was violence after their primaries.”
He enjoined security agencies to be more vigilant after the Presidential elections, saying that the state elections are more competitive in Delta State.
The resident electoral commissioner (REC) in Delta State, Elder Aniedi Ikoiwak said that INEC is ready for peaceful, free, fair and credible elections. He said that logistics have been put in place for accreditation of voters to commence at exactly 8.00 am on the day of elections.
He emphasized that voting can only be done with the permanent voter’s cards and by the owners of such cards as electronic card readers have been procured to ensure that voting cannot be done by proxy.
Traditional rulers who spoke at the occasion promised to enlighten their subjects on the need to collect their PVCs while heads of security agencies assured Deltans that no stone would be left unturned to ensure peaceful and successful elections.
They warned trouble makers to desist from entering the election venues as they were prepared to prosecute anybody caught engaging in actions that are detrimental to the electioneering process. [myad]