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Published On: Fri, Jan 31st, 2020

Electoral Act: Senate to legalize card reader-Ekpenyong

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By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

Newly sworn-in second time member of the Senate, Christopher Ekpenyong of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), representing Akwa-Ibom North-West Senatorial District has assured that Senate would ensure that the card reader will get legal backing.
The lawmaker whose victory at February 2019 National Assembly election was challenged by Senator Godswill Akpabio of the All Progressives Congress,(APC) at both Election Tribunal and Appeal court, had to go for a rerun election in January, 25, 2020 for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial district, held in Essien Udim Local Government Council defeated Senator Akpabio a second time.
He was administered an oath of office by the Deputy Clerk of the Senate, Musa Abdullahi at about 10:40 am after the adoption of the votes and proceedings for Wednesday, January 29, 2020.
Fielding questions from Senate Correspondents, on Thursday, Senator Ekpenyong who narrated his experience during the rerun election with his opponent and former governor of Akwa Ibom now Minister for Niger Delta Ministry, Senator Godswill Akpabio said he is fully equipped to sponsor a Bill on the amendment of the Electoral Act.
According to him,”the card reader is a very strong device both in accreditation and the determination of who votes by the electorate and it is through the card reader that we determine the votes that is being casted and not just to say when you go to court and the court will say it is not recognize in law, so we must make sure that the card reader is recognize by law. That is the only way we can go in our electoral Act.
“I have gone through electoral processes in Nigeria and to that extent I will come up with a bill that will change the circumstances of our electoral process that enable the people to choose their leaders and not by guns or court.”
On how his representation has impacted on the lives of his constituents , he said he empowered about 180 persons from Akwa-Ibom North-West senatorial district with resources to go into a trade of their choice in the state.
“I invited one person from the 180 wards in my senatorial district to my local government area and brought somebody from my border community and gave each of them the sum of N100,000 to engage in a business of their choice,” he noted.

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