—-prosecutes 72 offenders in court already
From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday condemned the habit of buying up voters cards from the electorates in other to win the forthcoming Governorship election in Anambra state.
Resident Electoral Commissioner Anambra state, Professor Chukwuemeka Onukaogu stated this yesterday when members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Anambra state council led by the state Secretary, Comrade Ifeoma Anumba (JP) paid him a courtesy call.
It was reported that politicians were mopping up voters card and even ferrying people from Jos and Lagos states among other states to come and register in Anambra state during the 7 days continuous voter registration.
A police raid arrested about 1,000 fake voters at Igabriam Anambra East and 3 luxurious buses and some fake voters.
Anambra REC stated, ‘’for anyone to think that buying voters cards will win this election is dreaming. Those voters cards politicians are mopping up will not win election. Let the politicians go and market themselves to the electorates.
‘’Let me caution the electorates about these politicians who will want to buy their voters cards because it will not work. Those cards will not be used to vote. Selling your card means you will not vote and right now we are in court prosecuting 72 people for multiple registrations during the last voter registration exercise.
‘’We have caught one or two persons who tried to double register and you recall that in 2011, we had many multiple registration. In the entire country , we have 840,000 multiple registration but Anambra is the highest with 93,000 multiple registers. We have secured their addresses and their phone numbers.
‘’They should stop buying voters cards. I have worked on the mind sets of my workers and they can’t be compromised either and our salary is regular as well as all that we need for the Governorship election in Anambra state is provided by our National office.
‘I have not visited any politician for this election and I am not ready to so. I won’t even partner with any political party in voter education . I can partner traditional rulers and communities as well as institutions not political parties.
Onukaogu informed that it is a waste of resources and time for anyone to think that those voters cards bought by politicians would be useful during the election as those cards would not be used to vote.
He assured that INEC would strive for a free and fair as well as a relevant election with the partnership of members of NUJ in the state in this critical period when the whole world is watching to see a standard that would be set by INEC in Anambra state.
He further said that INEC trained 551 corps members for the voter continuous registration and 320 staff as well as hired 30 teachers which he saw as a waste following low turnout of people for the exercise.
Onukaogu admitted that their ICT failed them initially but they later re-energized and bought over 400 generators as well as ICT experts from Abuja which enabled them complete the assignment as anticipated.
‘’we had enough funds , mobility and this is the most comprehensive exercise we had. It ended last Sunday. The next stage is display of voters register but those whose voters cards lost or changed environment should come and apply for a duplicate of their voters card. This one will last till October 30th.
He said it has set up a committee called inter agency consultative committee comprising of all security heads in the state for a synergy on the best to control insecurity during and after the elections.
Responding, the state Secretary of NUJ, Anambra state council, Comrade Ifeoma Anumba (JP) who led the NUJ delegation informed that the union came to know how prepared INEC is for the forthcoming Governorship election in Anambra state.
She assured REC that the journalists in the state would partner with them to see free and fair polls that would be generally accepted to be credible but can only do that if the journalists are kept on with daily happenings in his office.