Government Of Imo State
Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to cancel the on-going voter registration exercise in the State until the Commission is ready and seen to be ready to conduct the exercise in the State, stating that with the situation on ground at the moment, the Commission is not yet ready.
The Governor made the call while meeting with more than four thousand All Progressive Congress, APC, leaders from the 27 Local Governments of the State who had, through their individual reports given worrisome accounts of how the exercise was programmed to fail abinitio.
Before the meeting which the governor presided there had also been protests in Owerri, the State Capital, by various groups and Local Governments describing the INEC exercise as a sham and a deliberate attempt to reduce the voting strength of Imo people.
The Governor told his audience “I have gone round myself to over 20 wards and I found out that there is no evidence to show that the INEC voter registration exercise is designed to succeed in the State. I saw lengthy queues of people without any registration going on. And the machines are not available in most of the places. And the few available ones are not working. Either the battery is dead or the printer is not printing or the computer can not register anybody”.
He continued, “some people have been to most of the wards for more than five times since the exercise began to register but, they have not been registered. At some places where the old machines are available you see only ten people being registered between 9am and 4pm. The aim for which we declared public holidays appears to have been defeated”.
The Governor continued, “so, from all indications the exercise is designed to fail. It is obvious INEC is not ready for the exercise. So, I would advice INEC to cancel this registration exercise and come up when they are fully prepared. People are suffering for desiring to play their civic role. And INEC wants to end this registration by Monday which will see hundreds of thousands of our people willing and ready to register not doing so”.
“I also want to call on INEC to register our people in their respective polling booths and not giving one machine to a ward with some of the wards having about 20 booths that does not make any meaning. I therefore call on Imo people to remain calm while we hope that INEC will do the right thing”.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media