Abakaliki, – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has expressed dismay at the poor turnout of eligible voters to check their names on displayed voters register in Ebonyi.
Prof. Okechukwu Ibeano, National Commissioner in charge of Abia, Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi and Enugu states Ibeano made the observation in Abakaliki on Friday when he monitored the ongoing display of voters register in the state.
Ibeano, who visited selected registration areas in Abakaliki and Ebonyi local government areas, said that it was disheartening that very few people came out to check their names in the exercise.
He called on political, religious and community leaders and other relevant stakeholders to sensitize their people on the need to take advantage of the ongoing exercise to check their names on the register for possible claims and objections in order to effect corrections.
He explained that the essence of the voters register display was to avail eligible voters and other Nigerians opportunity to raise claims and objections on the names contained in the displayed voters registers.
“This is an opportunity for voters and all Nigerians to look into the voters registers and raise claims and objections concerning the names and details of particulars of voters.
“This is a period people can point out those who are not Nigerians but registered to vote, those who are dead, those who are under aged, gender errors among other claims so that we can clean our registers as we prepare for the 2019 elections.
“This is a very important aspect of the electoral process and very critical in INEC’s preparations for the 2019 elections; we expect that it will be taken serious by the electorate.
“Anyone who registered and his or her name is not found in the register has opportunity to lodge a complaint now because those whose names are not found in voters register will be automatically disenfranchised,” Ibeano said.
The commissioner disclosed that the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) for the last voter registration of 2018 would soon be released to the commission for issuance to legitimate owners.
Ibeano was accompanied by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof Godswill Obioma, the Acting Administrative Secretary, Mr Andy Ezeani and Herbert Ejiofor, Head, Department of Information Communication Technology (ITC).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the display of voters register which commenced on Tuesday, Nov. 6 across the federation is expected to last one week. (NAN)
NAN also reports that the Commissioner used the opportunity to interact with INEC officials deployed to various registration areas for the exercise with a view to ascertaining possible challenges affecting the smooth conduct of the exercise.