Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has declared Friday , Feb . 15 a public holiday to enable citizens travel to areas where they registered for the elections and vote.Umahi made the declaration while addressing newsmen in Abakaliki , noting that the directive was in conformity with the powers vested on him as the state governor .
“ Some people might have problems accessing transport to their various destinations while some vehicles conveying them might break down on the way .
“ It is better for them to travel on Friday to have the latitude of going back to their locations and perform their civic responsibilities , ” he said .
Umahi wished Ebonyi people a wonderful outing during the elections , enjoining them to turn out en – masse to exercise their franchise .
“ I want you to come out in your numbers and give me a minimum of 1 . 2 million votes which Ebonyi is known for .
“ I pray that God will give us violence – free elections and elect candidates at the presidential and National Assembly level of whom he wills .
“ God will frustrate the devices of those who want to cause violence and trouble , while I congratulate candidates of my party who will make it during the elections , ” he said .
Umahi gave the assurance to the people not to worry over insinuations that the election results from Ebonyi had been doctored and kept in Abuja by the main opposition party , to be announced after the elections .
“ Elections were never written and kept in Osun and Ekiti as was insinuated as nobody can write results under the present Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC ) .
“ Elections are won and lost at the polling units and I am not aware that the state ’ s former attorney – general and commissioner for justice has been appointed as a returning officer in the elections .
“ I thought that the norm all over the country is to appoint someone in a higher institution as the returning officer of the elections .
“ I don’ t know when INEC because of me will shift to appoint someone in the private sector and a member of the main opposition party as a returning officer.
“ A section of the electoral act stipulates that anybody who has the sympathy of a political party is not qualified to be an ad -hoc staff of INEC and the section is clear , ” he said .