ASABA—LEADERSHIP of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the South-South region, yesterday, warned the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC not to use the card reader to rig the party out of power in the March 28 presidential election.
Handing down the warning during the South-South zonal executive meeting of the party, in Asaba, Delta State Chairman of PDP in the zone, Dr Cairo Ojuogbo, said the zone was against the decision of INEC to make its Chairman, Prof. Attaihiru Jega, the sole appointee of collation officers across states in the federation for the March 28 presidential and National Assembly elections.
Ojuogbo, however, said the PDP in the region was not against the card reader, but that it should not be used to disenfranchise eligible voters, stressing that anybody with the Permanent Voters Card, PVC, should also be allowed to vote. On whether the card reader would be used for the election or not, he said the issue was being handled by the party at the national level. On the appointment of collation officers, he alleged that Prof. Jega had already directed one of his aides who is a card carrying member of the APC to nominate those to be appointed as collation officers for the elections.
According to him, INEC has a chairman and 12 commissioners with two being appointed from each of the zones in the country, adding that the commissioners from the zones should be allowed to appoint collation officers in their areas and not only the chairman solely making the appointments. Speaking further, Ojougbo said the South-South region would give bloc votes to President Goodluck Jonathan, insisting that the party has worked very hard to earn the votes of the people.
He commended party faithful for their commitment to the reelection of Dr Jonathan and expressed optimism that their efforts would yield positive results.Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr Steve Oru, who also spoke during the meeting, assured that the people of the South South would vote enmasse for the PDP. Chairman of the party in the Delta Central, Chief Tom Amioku who spoke in the same vein enjoined the party leadership not to be disturbed by the rumours that the Urhobo would not vote for the PDP.
The PDP governorship flagbearer in Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, said he was confident of victory for PDP in all the elections, adding that the party was not scared of loosing any of the elections because it was working hard to secure the people’s votes.