2019 election: How INEC plans to disenfranchise South-East Voters, by Ohanaeze
The socio-cultural organization of the Igbos in the South-East Nigeria, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has alerted the public on alleged plans by the electoral management body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disenfranchise the Igbos in the forth-coming general election in Nigeria.
The President general of the Igbo organisation, John Nnia Nwodo, Tuesday said the INEC was deliberately delaying registration of numerous Igbo adults who troop out to INEC registration centres to be registered for the Permanent Voters Card (PVC)
Ohanaeze Ndigbo said the INEC officials attend to Igbos only two days in a month while the same officials, registering voters in other geo-political zones attend to people every weekday.
Currently, according to figures released by the INEC, the South-East, who are predominantly members of the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have the least number of registered voters.
The North-east has the highest number of registered voters.
This implies that the region has the least number of legible voters come 2019 or in any election.
Nwodo disclosed that INEC officials were not responding adequately to voters, who besiege their offices for registration and collection of their permanent voter cards (PVCs) as they only attend to them two days in a month.
He said that there is nothing on ground to show really that the commission understands the importance of this exercise; they are treating it as a secondary matter, when it should be the primary to all their functions.
“If the basic statutory function of INEC is to conduct election, issuance of voters card to eligible voters should be paramount.
“Clearly there is apparent poor voter education, as nothing is on ground to show some commitment on INEC’s part in the region,” he stated.
many eligible voters in the region would be disenfranchised if the situation was not corrected urgently.
He apologised for the development, saying INEC was working with all relevant stakeholders to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, the PDP has accused the INEC of registering the underage and issued them PVC against the provisions of the Electoral Act. The PDP in a statement demanded the resignation of the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yabuku to enable the Commission prepare for the 2019 election.