Don’t Postpone 2023 Elections, Ortom Advises INEC


By Adadainfo

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Wednesday, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission not to postpone this year’s general election on claims of insecurity.

He also appealed to INEC to consider extending the deadline for the collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards to enable all those who registered to obtain their cards to vote during the polls.

Governor Ortom barred his mind when he paid a courtesy call on the new Benue State resident electoral commissioner, Prof Sam Egwu, at the INEC headquarters in Makurdi.

The governor said the skepticism that has arisen following a statement purported to have emanated from INEC about fears of insecurity ahead of the 2023 should be discountenanced.

Quoting him, “Our prayer is that whatever happens, let us go ahead and conduct the elections because Nigerians and Benue State people are eagerly waiting for it. Let us not create a situation where enemies of this country will take advantage. These elections must be conducted.”

Our correspodent reports that news is hovering that INEC might postpone the polls due to insecurity in some parts of the country.

Gov Ortom advised INEC not to postpone the polls. In his words, “In my own little way of suggesting and helping INEC and of course the federal government, if there are specific areas where insecurity is intense and there are problems, they should work towards shifting the elections (there), not postponing the elections, and when the other places are completed, they can go back and complete it and announce results.”

The governor continued, “I understand that collecting Permanent Voters’ Cards at the ward level is terminating on Sunday, and then the other ones at the local governments.

“I want to appeal, if it is possible, because this one is not about politics, it is not about partisanship, it is not about political parties, it is about everybody; but looking at what the result is for today, I want to appeal if that can be extended for one week.

“The Benue State government will appreciate it so that everybody will have the right to collect his or her PVC. If it can be extended, that will be fine, but if not, we can still manage with the directive of INEC.”

While congratulating the resident electoral commissioner on his appointment and posting to the state, the governor said, “All that we seek and desire from you is to ensure the rules of your engagement, ensure fair play, ensure equity, ensure justice, ensure fairness for all. Don’t do anything to sympathize or to favour me or any other political party.”

The governor used the opportunity to appeal to Benue people and all the political parties to eschew violence, stressing that, “Violence will not make anyone win any election. Let us be peaceful. INEC which is the umpire agency has given us the guidelines. Let us keep to it.”

Prof Egwu, in a remark, said although the collection of PVCs at the ward level would end on Sunday, the process would continue at the local government level till a few days to the elections.

Prof Egwu told Governor Ortom that his request for the extension would be forwarded to the chairman of the commission, pointing out that it was in the best interest of the commission to give out all the PVCs.

He commended the governor for ensuring a level playing field for all political parties in the state, noting that he has not heard any single incident of the opposition being denied the opportunity to reach out to their supporters.

The REC told the governor that the commission was working assiduously to ensure that people who have been displaced and were living in Internally Displaced Persons’ camps across the state with their PVCs were allowed to participate in the elections.

Adadainfo is an online newspaper reporting Nigerian news. Email: Phone: 08071790941

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