Saturday, 31 May 2014

Voters Registration marred with Intrigues, irregularities in Enugu state

Gov. Chime
A look at condemnation which greeted the ongoing  voters' registration exercise conducted in Enugu State by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Apart from those who were below 18 years of age as at 2010, the INEC had also scheduled fresh registration in over 600 polling units in the state, where data of registered voters "strangely" disappeared from the system.

Consequently, the Enugu State Government declared 3 days public holidays, between May 28 and May 30 to enable workers participate in the exercise.

However, our correspondent, who monitored the exercise in Igbo-Etiti and Nsukka council areas, which had worst cases, observed that nothing was going on in most of the registration areas.

Nsukka residents, said the public holidays achieved no result as the INEC's shortcomings had made it difficult for them to register.

As at the time of filling this report, tension was building up at the Igbo-Etiti Local Government as the exercise was yet to commence in over 95 percent of the registration venues, prompting residents to besiege the INEC office at Ogbede.

When sought comment from the Electoral Officer, EO, in charge of Igbo-Etiti, Mr. Akpani Ikah, he claimed that the registration was going on smoothly in the council.

He equally stated that no report had come to his office from any of the field workers.

But contrary to his claims, no registration was taking place in almost all the centres visited, even as the INEC adhoc staff conducting the exercise said they sent message to the Electoral Officer but help was yet to come.

In the centres visited at Aku, Ohodo, Ozala, they either had faulty machine, faulty charger, faulty printer, or nothing at all.

One of the teams posted to Aku ward said when he got there, he discovered that the Direct Data Capturing Machine, DDC, was meant for Isikwuato in Imo State.

In Nsukka Local Government the story was not different as residents waited helplessly for the exercise to commence.

Reacting to the development, the Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon. Eugene Odo, who was unable to register, expressed disappointment over the failure of INEC to provide adequate logistics for the exercise.

Odo, who was fuming with anger, called on the INEC to cancel the exercise and go back to the drawing board.

He expressed shock that the commission could not use four years to make adequate voters' registration exercise, even when it claimed that it claimed that the previous data disappeared from its system.

The speaker while expressing sadness over his inability to register said, "most of them have complained of faulty system, most of them have complained of charger, most of them have complained of printer, and most unfortunately, the people administering the registration are not quite knowledgeable about the system.

"We have made complaint to the EO but he appears helpless, I have complained to the REC but he is not forth-coming with solution, so what we are asking is that this exercise should be cancelled and INEC should go back to the drawing board".

"As I speak to you, nothing is happening in Igbo-Etiti, I have not been able to register, even when INEC has not justified why our name disappeared from the list. What INEC is doing in Igbo-Etiti is a sham, INEC is not serious.

"It is also quite shocking for the EO to say that everything is working well, it is the height of insincerity".

Similarly, the member representing Igbo-Etiti and Uzo-Uwani in the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Princess Stella Ngwu    said from every indication, INEC was not ready for the exercise.

She, therefore, advised the commission "to cancel the exercise, get well prepared and come back. When they come back, they should give us three weeks for the registration and not five days".

Observation showed that out of the 191 polling units in Igbo-Etiti, the exercise was sparingly taking place in 7 units.



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.