Rivers State Chapter of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) has accused the Independent national Electoral Commission, INEC, of plotting to under-register and disenfranchise voters in Rivers State.
The newly inaugurated executive committee of ALGON, who stormed the state headquarters of INEC in Port Harcourt, said they were afraid that the alleged shoddy arrangements the commission had put in place would not allow many eligible voters in the state to be captured in the ongoing voters’ registration.
The Chairman of ALGON, Allwell Ihunda, told reporters in front of INEC gate that if INEC did not improve on the registration process, they would return to picket the commission.
He said, “We have observed that there is a deliberate attempt by the commission to disenfranchise and depopulate eligible voters in Rivers State.
“We noticed that the machines deployed to the 23 local governments are not sufficient. And the ones available are not functioning well. Each time we are told there is a server problem which shall be fixed and has never been fixed. We tried to mobilise and sensitise our people to go to the various centres of INEC to do their registration and each time they go there they spend the whole day only to be asked to return the next day.
“Our people are tired of moving from one place to the other just to get registered. And the explanations we are getting from INEC, we are not satisfied. We therefore urge the INEC to ensure that they provide sufficient machines to the 23 local government areas and possibly deploy more machines and decentralize the registration to enhance registration to the ward levels so that it will not just be at the local government headquarters.”
Ihunda, who is also the Chairman of Port Harcourt Local Government, assured that ALGON would give INEC the necessary support to ensure a hitch-free exercise in Rivers State. We have started providing the logistics. We have started with sensitization and mobilization. We have even assured INEC that we are going to support them even if it is by providing the Internet connectivity and also security.”
But the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Obot Effanga, denied the accusation, saying Rivers State was leading in the fresh registration of voters in the country.
He said the process of registering voters included an online process the prospective registrants needed to do before submitting themselves to INEC registration officers in the respective local government areas.
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