Faulty Machines Mar Enugu Fresh Voters’ Registration ExerciseLatest News, News, Politics Saturday, May 31st, 2014
IGNATIUS OKPARA, Enugu
Scores of Residents of Enugu State on Friday tongue lashed the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) for flooding the state with faulty machines in the ongoing fresh voter registration exercise.
African Examiner investigation revealed that prospective voters in parts of the state have been facing serious challenges in getting registered, following the use of faulty machines by INEC in carrying out the exercise since its commencement last Monday.
Our correspondent recalled that the nation’s electoral body had scheduled fresh registration in over 600 polling units in the state.
The electoral body alleged that the data of over 40 percent registered voters in the areas especially in Enugu North zone disappeared from the system.
The development was described by many as ploy by some powerful politicians and INEC to reduce the electoral value and strength of Enugu North Senatorial District
Reacting to the ugly 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.
He called on the INEC to cancel the exercise and go back to the drawing board.
While expressing shock that the INEC could not use four years to make adequate voters’ registration exercise, even when it claimed that the previous data disappeared from its system.
The speaker 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 Electoral officers 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”.
The member representing Igbo-Etiti and Uzo-Uwani in the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Princess Stella Ngwu, who was also sad over the development, said from every indication, INEC was not ready for the exercise.
Princess Ngwu advised INEC “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”.
It could be recalled the Enugu State Government declared 3 days public holidays, between May 28 and May 30 to enable workers participate in the exercise.
However, when African Examiner visited some polling units in Igbo-Etiti, Nsukka, and other affected council areas, members of the National Youth Service Corps, who were in-charge of the centers said they could not carry out the exercise because of faulty machines.
Most residents of Nsukka expressed regrets that the public holidays achieved no result, alleging that INEC’s was not sincere.
Our correspondent also observed at the Igbo-Etiti Local Government that the exercise could not hold at over 95 percent of the registration venues, prompting residents to besiege the INEC office at Ogbede.
Surprisingly, the Electoral Officer in charge of Igbo-Etiti, Mr. Akpani Ikah, who was aware of the development, claimed that the registration was going on smoothly in the council, insisting that no report had come to his office from any of the field workers.
Contrary to his claims, our correspondent observed at Aku, Ohodo, Ozala centers that the machines sent to the areas by INEC were faulty.
It was also discovered that the Direct Data Capturing Machines, DDC sent to some of the areas were meant for Ezinifite in Imo State and elsewhere.
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