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Ex-senator wants new voters’ register for Delta gov polls re-run

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Chief Spanner Francis Okpozo


Second Republic senator and South-South leader, Chief Francis Okpozo, yesterday urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to compile a new voters’ register for the forthcoming Delta State fresh gubernatorial election ordered by the Court of appeal.

He said using the old voters register would create anarchy in the state but a new one would ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to vote.

Ahead of the re-run, Ndokwa Youths in Delta State under the auspices of the Ndokwa Solidarity Front (NSF), have declared support for the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) candidate, Great Ovedje Ogboru.

In a statement, the group said Ogboru’s victory in the election would help to curb corruption and stealing of public funds that was rampant in past administrations.

Speaking with journalists in his house in Benin City yesterday on his reaction to a newspaper report that INEC had fixed January 6, 2011, as a tentative date for the gubernatorial re-run, Okpozo said the election was a ‘litmus test” for the

Prof. Attahiru Jega-led INEC.

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“We the indigenes of Delta State and as politicians who are used to elections are amazed about such a state ment from the INEC at this point in time as regards the date and preparedness of the election at this crucial period. INEC should remember that the specific period given to INEC to conduct the elections is 90 days. Time is already running out and there is nothing on ground to believe that INEC is serious to conduct that election.

“Jega should remember the provision of the Electoral Act that says that a voters’ register must be ready within 60 days, displayed within that period
before any election.

“And that must take 30 days before any election. Now, when is Jega going to fulfill these requirements within the stipulated period in the Electoral Act? We have information that some of the aspirants have gone to INEC to pressurise them to use the old register for the election. The register was what led to the court-annulment of the 2007 election and we_ should ensure that that register is not used to conduct this re-run. What Jega should do quickly is to allocate about 20 days to organise a fresh register and conduct election with that register”.

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Meanwhile, the Justice Party (JP’s) candidate in the court avoided 2007 polls, Donald Dumbili Chukwuemeka, a lawyer, has decried his exclusion by INEC from the fresh election.

In a statement in Asaba, Chukwuemeka stated explicitly that he was still in the race.

In fact, the JP may go to court over the matter”, he said.

On his plans for Deltans, he remarked: “The Justice Party’s slogan has a vision of ‘Justice for all’. Consequently, I am offering Deltans a new deal in all ramifications. The new deal entails providing social infrastructure, as well as developing Delta State to a level not ever thought of before now Things will be done on merit and driven by a sense of purpose.

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Francis Okpozo
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