Former Information Minister and governorship aspirant in Nasarawa State Mr. Labaran Maku has appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the distribution of the Permanent Voters? Cards in Nasarawa State to enable communities displaced by the recent wave of violence to participate in the exercise.? Mr. Maku made the call in Wakama, Nasarawa Eggon Local Government where he received his Permanent Voters? Card.

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He said the sustained attacks on communities by mercenaries had dislocated huge voting communities who were now taking refuge in different parts of the state, hence the need for the INEC to consider extending the distribution of the PVCs in the state.

?As we do this exercise here, one-third of Nasarawa State has been destroyed completely because of the insurgency in parts of Nasarawa South and Nasarawa North Senatorial Districts.? In the last four months, more than 25 towns and villages have been destroyed completely, razed down, some of them demolished and people chased away completely from their habitations?.

To further buttress his call for the extension of the period of the exercise, Mr. Maku complained that in his polling unit in Wakama where over 1000 people registered, less than 200 persons collected their PVCs on the second day of the exercise, adding that the three days allocated for the distribution of the PVCs in Nasarawa State were not sufficient.

Mr. Maku said from available information, the insurgents were still lurking around the displaced communities and killing those who attempted to return to their homes.

The former Minister therefore appealed to the Federal Government to ?forcefully intervene? in order to secure the communities for people to return to their homes and continue with their normal activities.

He urged the INEC to set aside a period within which it would conduct another round of the distribution of the PVCs once peace and security had been restored to the displaced communities.

He also advocated the establishment of permanent centres across the state by INEC for continuous voter registration to capture those who missed out in the initial exercise.

Mr. Maku said he stood by the position of the PDP in Nasarawa State, which maintained that the renewed wave of attacks was being perpetrated by mercenaries imported into the state and sustained by the APC-led government to decimate communities that were perceived to be opposed to the re-election of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura ahead of the 2015 general elections.

?For this exercise to succeed, INEC will have to set aside the same period in those communities to conduct a bye-exercise when they eventually return home. If they (INEC) don?t do that, then many of them will not be registered.

?The purpose of this war is to stop people from voting ? that?s the reason why the war is taking place ? to sack any community that is no longer willing to vote for APC.? That is why people are being killed, displaced and communities and habitations being destroyed. So if in the end most of the people who left these areas do not register, then those who sent them away would have realized the objective of dislocating voting populations in order for APC to win the next election in Nasarawa State? he stated.

He pledged to use his wealth of experience to return Nasarawa State to the path of peace when elected governor in 2015.

Meanwhile, former Information Minister Mr. Labaran Maku has raised the alarm over attempts by some individuals to tamper with the list of the Nasarawa State PDP delegates in the headquarters of the party in Abuja.

While speaking at the PDP primary election for the House of Assembly election in Indehu near Akwanga in Nasarawa State, Mr. Maku said the entire state party leadership and stakeholders were astounded when they discovered some strange names on the delegates list sent from the party headquarters in Abuja.

He said the strange discovery prompted the party leadership and other PDP stakeholders in the state to reject the Abuja list and insist on using the list of delegates elected at the ward congress for the State House of Assembly primary election.

?We had a peaceful election today because there was wisdom by the party leadership in the state not to use the delegates list that came from Abuja.? That delegates list that came from Abuja was doctored.

?We did ward congresses in Nasarawa State, almost every delegate of the PDP was elected by consensus. It was signed by Returning Officers, we forwarded them to the Local Governments where the Returning Officers signed.? We forwarded them to the state and the state forwarded them to Abuja only for us to discover that some people who we don?t know went and put their names on the list in Abuja.

?This almost provoked a war in Nasarawa State yesterday (Friday) until the whole party leadership came together and said no list from Abuja should be recognized. The list of delegates must be the one elected in the wards and endorsed by Returning Officers? he said.

He remarked that delegates were not elected in Abuja but in the wards and advised those who wanted to be delegates of the party to present themselves for election in the wards instead of cutting corners.

Mr. Maku commended the peaceful conduct of the House of Assembly primaries of the PDP in the state and restated the commitment of stakeholders and members of the party to peaceful electioneering.

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Barr. Zakari Edego

Director Publicity

Maku Campaign Organisation

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