Governor Adams Oshiomole of Edo State has called on voters in the country to use their Permanent Voter’s Card to punish incompetent leaders and any party that fields them, by voting them out in the next general election.
Speaking on Friday, shortly after collecting his Permanent Voter’s Card, the Governor without the PVC, it would be impossible to change an incompetent government.
He said: “In a democracy, it is expected that when you elect people in good faith, you elect them in trust. When you have voted for someone and for one reason you are not satisfied, then you need the card to be able to fire the person, particularly when the person makes himself available in the next election, if the person is not contesting and you feel strongly about the issue you can decide to use your card to punish the political party that fielded the person.
“So if you do not have this card, you are not in a position to punish those who have not performed. So if anybody says, because this man did not perform well therefore I will not collect the voter’s card. That is a mistake.
“This card is a horsewhip to punish anyone who you elected that did not perform and to punish the political party that produces that person unless you are convinced that it is not the fault of the party. The permanent voter’s card is not only an instrument of reward but one for punishment.
“Nothing justifies why you should not collect your card. This card is not just for the next election. You will not only use in 2015, you will use it in 2016, you will use it in 2019 for the governorship and presidential elections,” he noted.
Oshiomole continued “ Edo people want to have the power to punish those who did not touch their lives; to reward or punish those who went there and kept on committing sin. If there is anybody in Edo State who had registered and for logistic reasons his name is not in the register, we will do everything to ensure that he is registered.
“Our right to vote is the most fundamental of all the other rights. The right to hire or fire the person we entrust with our collective word”.
The Governor said “the turn out of people is encouraging. The corpers are following the rules. As you can see, I was rushing to be here and I forgot my temporary card at home. Because of that, I had to wait to go and get the card.
“I understand there are hitches in a few places I have been told in a particular unit that cards were not available in the local government. INEC is taking care to find out the where about of the cards in that particular unit.
“In Oredo Local Government, quite a number of people turned out and their names are not in the register. There are quite a number of wards and units that this thing has happened,” he said.
He noted “By the end of day, we should be able to collate all information in the entire 192 ward and so we are going to have a comprehensive review.
“In principle we have agreed that there has to be a meeting between INEC and the political parties to review all that has happened in the various areas. I believe that at the end of the day, everybody has a right to have his permanent voter’s card. And if for any reason, anybody does not have, INEC has a duty in law to provide voter cards.
On this part the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Edo State Baritor Kpagih said the response to the call for collection of the PVC is good.
He said “the response has been fine. But one of the observation that we made at the various polling units particularly outside Etsako area, the people were not organized and it was a bit difficult for people to collect their cards”.