By; KENNETH ORUSI, Asaba
Delta State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Cyril Omorogbe, has revealed a shocker as Deltans prepare to cast their votes for their choice candidates in the March 9 2019, governorship and State House of Assembly elections.
Speaking during a stakeholder’s meeting with leaders of political parties in the state, the Independent Natonal Electoral Commission (INEC), REC insisted that anyone who failed to use the Smart Card Reader, just consider that voting zero, he declared.
While stressing that the reason for the card readers was to have a free, fair and credible elections, he said: “I don’t expect anyone to sabotage the process”, warning that anyone caught in electoral irregularities would be dealt with by the law.
He also said calls should be placed across to him whenever any irregularities and challenges were discovered during the process and it would be responded to immediately.
He charged the electorates not to allow politicians to buy their consciences, assuring that the March 9 election would be far better than the previous election.
While responding to questions from party officials during the interactive session on failures observed with the card readers, he disclosed that there are backups to enhance the process, assuring that the card readers have been tested.
According to him, the card readers would do better and lots more better in the governorship and House of assembly elections just as he noted that election would be moved to the next day in the case of failed card readers to enable people exercise their franchise.
“If you don’t use the card reader to vote, your vote is zero”, he emphasized.
He noted that ad hoc staff of INEC would be given a refresher training on Friday to enable them act proactively and master the use of the card readers.
Also speaking, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Salisu Bello, said the police are saddled with the responsibility of ensuring peace and safety during elections.
He said police officers are not supposed to be seen at the polls with arms but backup security do as they are not close to the polling unit.
Speaking in an interview, state chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Fred Obi, expressed worries over alleged importation of armed youths from neighbouring states to cause mayhem during the election.
He called on the federal government and security agencies to check the menace, warning that the election is not to destroy lives.
“We enjoyed a peaceful atmosphere that took place in the last election, it was quite peaceful. The forthcoming one, we are expecting that it should be also peaceful as well.
“We are calling on all Deltans irrespective of your political affiliation especially INEC officials to make sure that the election of that day is conducted in an atmosphere void of acrimony”, he said.