Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has called on the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, to ensure the body is fair to all sections of the country in the coming voter registration exercise.
Chairman of the party in Rivers State, Mr Felix Obuah, in a statement by his media aide, Mr Jerry Needam, yesterday, said that the commission should shun the temptation to manipulate the process in favour of any section of the country and political parties.
He further urged those of voting age who could not participate in the registration exercise in the past to ensure that they do so this time, adding that those who clocked 18 recently should also take advantage of the opportunity to register.
He said: “The Chairman, Prof Yakubu, and the INEC Commissioner, Mrs Amina Zakari, should not see the exercise as another opportunity to demonstrate their preference and ‘loyalty’ to a particular political party and section of the country, as kinsmen to the President. They should rather prove to Nigerians that they are detribalized, apolitical, and objectively carry out the mandate of a federal and ‘independent’ commission.
“The voter registration exercise offers the commission another opportunity to correct its image by doing the right thing and ensure that all units and wards in the 774 LGAs in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory are accurately covered in terms of fresh registration and distribution of uncollected Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs.
“The PDP also urges all its members and eligible electorate who have the Temporary Voters Cards, TVCs, but whose names are on the register to ensure they collect their PVCs to avoid them being issued to impostors by unscrupulous elements and agents of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as witnessed in previous elections.
“It is important that the commission ensures that its staff involved in the registration are always at their duty posts during the hours of the exercise, and not to hoard the PVCs/TVCs, and to allow equal free access to all potential registrants, no matter the sex, political affiliation or state of origin.”