RIVERS LOCAL GOVERNMENT CHAIRMEN PROTEST LOW VOTERS REGISTRATION BY INEC; ALLEGE SABOTAGE
….gives 7 days ultimatum or…
Local Government chairmen across the twenty three councils in Rivers State on Monday protested to the State Headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to register their displeasure over low number of registered voters, since the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise began.
The elected council chairmen, who protested under the aegis of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), accused the INEC deliberate trying to under-register voters in Rivers State, thereby denying Rivers people their rightful to vote fully in the 2023 general election.
Speaking during the protest, newly elected chairman of ALGON and chairman of Port Harcourt Local Government Area, Sir ALLWELL IHUNDA frowned at the frustration experienced by the people of Rivers State to get themselves registered.
The Mayor of Port Harcourt told Journalists shortly after a meeting with INEC officials, that the present situation, where each local government has one machine is not acceptable and advised INEC to decentralise the registration to the Ward levels to allow for speedy and an increased registration of Rivers people.
He lamented that the most frustrating aspect of the registration exercise is the frequent breakdown of their machines and poor server service, thereby making the would be voters repeat the INEC office daily without success.
He expressed the willingness of the Local Government Chairmen to assist in providing some logistics, and security arrangements for seamless registration process.
The council Chief Executives who disclosed that they have already mobilised their people for the exercise, regretted that INEC has on their part, by not ensuring the server work well and the machines kept in good shape, like they are in the Northern parts of the country.
“We have offered to provide safe and efficient Internet system to support their operations but INEC has not shown seriousness, we suspect a deliberate attempt to frustrate Rivers people, and following the perceived sobatage the ALGON has given INEC 7 days from today to resolve all issues affecting the registration in Rivers State; failure to do so, we will come back with every lawful necessary means to compel them to do the right thing.
“We received information from some parts of the country that the exercise is going on smoothly, that there is massive mobilisation of machines, men and materials; why is that of Rivers State different if it wasn’t an attempt to disenfranchise the people”, they queried.
Our correspondent reports that some council chairmen; including CHIDI LLOYD of EMOHUA and ROWLAND SEKIBO OF AKUKU-TORU also spoke during the protest.