By PAUL UWADIMA, Abuja
The Democratic People’s Congress (DPC) has urged eligible Nigerians totake advantage of the on-going Independent National ElectoralCommission (INEC) voter registration to register and obtain voter cards for elections.
The party in a statement signed by its national chairman, Rev. Olusegun Peters , and made available to LEADERSHIP in Abuja, yesterday, said those eligible to register are Nigerian citizens who have attained the voting age of 18years and those who did not register in previous registration exercise, warning that it is a crime to register twice.
It noted that sovereignty resides in the people which they exercise through their ballots in elections. “Your vote is therefore your power to elect credible candidates that will provide good governance and social justice that will usher better life to our longsuffering compatriots,” it added.
The statement reads in part, “All eligible Nigerians are urged to go to the nearest INEC registration centers in their Local Government Areas and perform this crucial civic responsibility that will further deepen our democratic process.
“DPC reiterates its stand on one man, one vote. Each vote must be counted and count in the overall result in every election. The era of electoral malpractices, rigging and brigandage is gone with the electoral and constitutional amendments that have endorsed the use of electronic voting system in future elections. DPC urges the Senate and House of Representatives to jointly pass various electoral amendments to enable INEC to prepare adequately for the 2019 general elections.
It is time to sanitize the nation’s political process and build a strong, virile, progressive and prosperous democratic nation.
“DPC strongly opposed the inclusion of independent candidates in elections. It is obvious that the nation’s democratic structure cannot sustain it. It is disturbing that INEC is yet to conclude some 2015 Federal and State Legislative elections in Rivers and Anambra States, two years and three months after the polls were conducted due to insecurity and litigation.
If Independent Candidates are included in elections, there could be over 1000 candidates in a ballot sheet that will confuse most voters and make mockery of our frail democracy. The party urges the leadership of the National Assembly to reconsider and review its position on independent candidates.
“DPC also rejects the call for Diaspora voting at a time majority of voters could not cast their ballots in elections due to shortage of electoral materials, poor logistics in conveying the materials to polling booths, malfunctioning of electoral equipment and violence. Nigerians live in over 140 countries around world, it is impossible to get accurate population of our compatriots in the Diaspora not to mention registering them for elections.
“DPC commends INEC for the registration of five new political parties. It is a step in the right direction which showed that the Commission did proper screening of the 87 political associations that applied to be registered as political parties and registered the best qualified ones. The political system should be sanitized and given direction as it would have be clumsy and awkward to registered more political associations that would not add value to our electoral process.”