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

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

Governor Ortom made the remark when he paid a courtesy call on the new Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Sam Egwu at the INEC headquarters in Makurdi. The governor said the scepticism that has arisen following a statement purported to have emanated from INEC about fears of insecurity ahead of the forthcoming election should be discountenanced.

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

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 not postponing the elections and when the other places are completed, they can go back and complete it and announce results.”

Governor Ortom continued: “I understand the leg of collecting PVCs at the ward level is terminating on Sunday and then the other ones at the local government. 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.

“If it is possible, 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 REC on his appointment and posting to the state, the governor added: “all that we seek and desire from you is to ensure the rules of your engagement, ensure fair play, ensure equity, ensure justice and fairness for all. Don’t do anything to sympathize or to favour me or any other political party.”

Prof. Egwu however 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.



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