People of Imo West Senatorial district have asked their representative Senator Rochas Okorocha, to explain his curious absence during the voting to the amendment to the Electoral Act, 2021.
Okorocha is the second lawmaker who’s had his absence at the voting queried.
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In a letter to Okorocha, entitled ‘Request for explanation of your curious absence during the final voting for the Electoral Act amendment bill,’ the people said that they were embarrassed that their representative did not partake in that memorable exercise.
“We cannot understand or fathom your reason for absenting yourself on a day that such a critical bill that is of great interest to us, your constituents, was billed for voting,” they said in the letter signed by Fidel Anujuo, president of board of administrators of Orlu Gong/Orlu People’s Assembly.
“We received with utter bewilderment, dismay and considerable embarrasmemt the report of your absence during voting for eletronic transmission of election results, integral part of the Electoral Amendment Bill held last week in the Red Chambers.
“As a senator representing one of the largest Senatorial zones (Imo West) with 12 LGAs, with extensive geographical boundaries radiating from Ohaji Egbema in the southernmost boundary of Imo State on its border with Rivers State, to Ideato North local government areas on the northernmost boundary of Imo State on its border with Anambra State, you cannot be unaware that the physical transmission of votes in our zone poses a perrenial challenge and electronic transmission of votes represented an opportunity for us to overcome this handicap that imperils our mandate and our lives in every election.
“We view your recent action the same way we viewed your absurd preference for Chairmanship of the Culture and Tourism Committee in the Senate instead of the Ecological Committee which is of greater interest to us as an erosion prone territory.
“It is unfathomable and unacceptable that you should be absent from the senate chamber on a day that the bill on such a grave matter is being concluded and we are at a loss as to the cause of this monumental faux pas.
“By your inauspicious absence from the senate chamber, you denied us of the opportunity to express our position on the issue by casting our vote for electronic transmission along with other progressive minds so that future generations will know that we choose a digital democratic culture, not an analogue one.
“We request for a written explanation from you, which must be published and caused to be seen by your constituents and interested members of Nigerian public within seven days from the receipt of this letter,” it added.
One of his aides, Mr. Steve Asimobi, faulted the approach of the group, saying that Orlu Gong should have engaged Okorocha before the voting and not after.
Asimobi said that Okorocha could not have deliberately stayed away as he was on another national assignment
He described the approach of the writers as insulting to the Senator.
He said, “On the issue of his absence at the plenary I want to observe that Orlu Gong should have engaged him and made their view on the raging issues made known to him before the voting and not making suggestions to him after the matter has been dealt with .
“Legislative processes are continuous programs and thus the electoral act can be amended in the nearest future when NCC and other telecom operators improve tremendously on their service delivery . This will midwife not just electronic transmission of results but also e voting . In any case he was indisposed and thus could not attend plenary on the said day.”