2023: Weeding out ghosts voters ’ll ensure credible polls – Ex-guber candidate

Efforts of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to give Nigeria a free and fair in 2023 could become useless unless something is done to stop voting by millions of ghost voters in the INEC register across the country.

This was the view of a former governorship aspirant in Cross River, under the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Chief Ogban Ngwu Ebok, who, in an interview with Journalists in Calabar, faulted the current voters register, saying it is made up of mostly ghost voters.

Ebok who is popularly known in the political circle as ‘Bridge One’, called on the National Assembly to pass a law on electronic voting, saying such law should be assented to by the president and adopted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) without delay.

He believed that the said law would be better for Nigeria “because it will reduce the rigging abilities of everybody” adding “INEC is trying many things such as the card reader which has helped to reduce the level of rigging because most of the registers you’ll see in Nigeria are not correct and constitute mostly ghost voters.”

He said, “The card reader helps you to see only those who are actually real because the cards are there but some are not owned by any human being. What they deceive journalists to be writing is when for instance, 60 percent of the voters come, and they say there was a low turnout but it’s not a turnout matter.

“For example, in the south-south, like Rivers and Akwa Ibom states, the percentage turnout was at 90 percent but in other places, the maximum was 60 percent so it’s not turnout. It’s just that some of those names are people who have died or do not exist”.

Ebok, a stalwart of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state, and is rumoured to be preparing to contest the governorship election, noted further, “if you now have an opportunity to rig, you rig with even those who are not alive but if it is real, you know those who are alive to be captured and will vote.

“So if you and I are active and serious, and even card readers are improved upon, it is the easiest way to weed away those imaginary and fake votes and this is critical. Like in Cross River State presidential elections, what was our percentage performance?

“You know we voted about 300,000 but our voting strength is about 1million, so we are saying that the turnout was 30 percent. In federal housing, you will see in the register 500 but people who turn-up are not more than 100.

“During the elections, there was not much violence because it’s only violence that would cause a lot of people not to come out and vote for fear of death or injury.

“But if there’s no violence and people can come out, people will not stay home and that percentage will be negligible. If INEC does thorough work and improves on the card reader, it will help a lot in accreditation and eliminate ghost workers and ghost voters”.