Uduaghan Task Electorates on Voters registration

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Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has affirmed that the first responsibility of the electorate in ensuring the success of the “one man one vote” campaign in the forth coming 2011 general elections was to participate in the voters registration exercise.

Dr. Uduaghan who disclosed this while delivering a lecture at the 1st Annual Colloquium lecture organized by the Post Graduate Student Association of Delta State University Abraka explained that anybody that do not have voters cards have no right to complain about elections.

He stated that the success of the 2011 elections was the responsibility of the electorate stressing that it goes beyond the responsibilities of the Independent Electoral Commision( INEC) Chairman and staff.

His words “ The success of an election goes beyond the anticedent of INEC Chairman and staff, it needs the collective responsibility of Nigerians. That is the reason why all of us must be registered to enable us have the right to vote.”

Explaining further, the governor said it was the responsibility of INEC to provide Polling booths and ensure that Electoral materials arrive early at voting centres saying “ lt is the responsibility of INEC to ensure that electoral materials arrive early at polling stations. l assure you that in the coming election, we will all have access to polling booths. It is our duty to ensure that our votes are counted and protect.”

Citing the examples of Ghana, Rwanda and lndian whose elections were adjudged free and fair by both local and international observers, the governor maintained that One man One vote is possible and therefore urged politicians to go to the field and campaign.

“ If you want to win election as an aspirant, go and campaign. If you want to depend on snatching of ballot boxes, it will not work this time around. One man One vote is not a myth, it is a reality.”

While responding to questions from the students, the governor discovered that most students of Delta state orgin have not received the state government annual busary which he explained was increased from #10,000 to #20,000 recently and promised to investigate the matter.

In a welcome address, the Vice Chancellor, DELSU, Prof Eric Arubayi explained that the topic of the lecture “ One Man One vote: A reality or Myth” was to enlighten the student on electoral reforms in Nigeria, it's challenges and measures to be taken in ensuring a credible election come 2011.

Speaking further, he said the purpose of any electoral reform was to bring about positive changes and development in the country adding that electoral reforms will help reform the society better in knowledge and value.

The governor and his entourage was received at the University by the Management staff of the school

Governor Uduaghan's Speech at the 1st Annual Lecture of Post Graduate Students Association of DELSU, Abraka

GOV: My dear Students do you believe that this country will conduct a free and fair election come 2011? This is the topic for our lecture today.

GOV: How many of you have registered? You can see for yourself that almost all of you have not registered, how then will you believe in a credible election when you cannot cast your vote?

Gov: If you are not registered, you cannot vote, no wonder you are all shouting that a credible election is not possible in this country.

Have you heard of the country called Rwanda? They conducted an election that was adjudged by international communities as free and fair, the same thing happened in Ghana and India. It is possible in Nigeria, that is the reason for this lecture.

It is your responsibility to register and have voters card, this is your right to free and fair election. The elections we had in this country in 2007 had problems, this was what made the late president Yar' Adua to put up the Justice Uwais panel to look into the situation. The panel came up with recommendations that INEC chairman should not be appointed by the President and that the funding of INEC should be on first-line charges.

The success of election is not just about making recommendations but implementing such recommendations, most of the recommendations made by constituted panels in this country were not implemented, that is why we are faced by certain problems.

We have a big challenge as a country in ensuring a free and fair election, we have to work together towards achieving it.

The first responsibility of Nigerians is to register and have voters card because if you do not have voters card you have no write to complain that we cannot have a credible election. Vice Chancellor we must all work together to ensure that we have registration centers in this school to enable all of you to register.

The second responsibility of Nigerians is to ensure that we go to polling booths to cast our vote, l am assuring you that in the coming election we will have access to polling booths, you should ensure that your votes are protected and counted at the polling centers.

It is the responsibility of INEC to provide polling booths and electorial materials and to ensure that the materials arrive early at polling centers. The people are ready to see that there will be no snatching of ballot boxes. If you want to win elections as politicians go to the field and campaign. If you want to depend on snatching of ballot boxes it will not work.

I tell you that One man One vote is possible in Nigeria, if we all work together to achieve it. It is a reality and not a myth.

Question( Student) - Sir, l am standing up to speak the mind of myself and other students here pertaining to our busary. My name is Oseahaeye Ugochukwu Favour, this is my 3rd year in this university, l have never received busary.

GOV: This is a serious issue, are you from Delta State?

Favour: l am from Onicha –Olona.
GOV: Let me ask this question, how many of you that have upto 2.5 GPA and have spend over 2 years in this university and have never received busary?

Gov: The busary of Delta State student was increased last 2 months from #10,000 to #20,000. I will investigate this issue to know the truth why many student of the state orgin have not been receiving busary. I apologise for this, it may take me time to investigate but l will get to the root of it and l promise that you will all get your annual busary