Barely two weeks to the 2015 General Elections President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oristejafor has charged the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega to ensure that all the card readers that would be deployed for the March 28 were in good shape and work well.
This is as he commended the Nigeria Military and other security agencies for their sacrifices in securing the nation and the recent gains against the insurgency in the North East and urged Nigerians to rather support than chastise them.
He spoke in Abuja at a day interactive session of Key Stakeholders in the Nigeria Project organised by Think Nigeria Christian- Muslim Movement and insisted that INEC must ensure that no Nigerian is disenfranchised in the forthcoming elections on the ground of faulty card readers.
“On the issue of card readers, we just want to encourage INEC. It is not easy to come up with a new innovation in a developing country like this. But you know these elections, people want to believe that when they vote their vote must count, and so we want to charge INEC and say to INEC, please do all you can that every one of those card readers would work. They should work, they are bought with money, they are supposed to work,” the CAN leader said.
He also berated the INEC Chairman over claim that Nigerians are refusing to come forward to collect their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) stressing that the commission should publish the list of names of those who have not collected their PVC for them and the world to see.
He equally urged Muslims and Christians to be prepared to protect one another during the elections noting that adherents of both religions should resolve to watch over each other where they each have population advantage and dominance over another.
While lamenting that many people are relocating to other places due to fear of election violence, he said the resolve to protect each other must be a commitment which must also be publicised to help build confidence in Nigerians towards the elections.
He added: “INEC is a necessary organisation that every nation must have. We are glad at this moment that there is Professor Jega as the head of INEC. We wish him well. We pray that God will give him grace to continue to work hard to represent all of us. Because that is what it is, he is representing all Nigerians. But I am concerned about two things; number one, still this issue of the PVC. I have heard him several times that there are many Nigerians who are refusing to collect their PVC and I am getting to the point where I am almost going to say I beg to disagree.
“Because I began to sample this in my own church, I pastor a small church in Warri with about 35,000 people in two services that we have on Sundays. I began to sample them, show me your PVC and I was shocked. Close to half of my congregation don't have PVC. And I began to ask questions. I sent some of my pastors to meet with the people, find out and I discovered that many of them felt insulted that anybody would say that they registered and they don't want to go and take their PVC. Some of them began to explain to me that what they believed is happening is that sometime you see a lot of PVC in particular locations but the truth is many time most of those PVC don't belong to the people in that location.”
If you are happy to be contacted by a Daily Trust journalist please leave a telephone
number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will
be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state
otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures,
video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others,
take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the
terms and conditions.