By Leonard Okachie
Umuahia – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appealed to students in Abia to shun being used as thugs during the forthcoming general elections.
Mr Joseph Iloh, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, made the appeal at a forum for students of tertiary institutions in the state held in Umuahia on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event, held at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU), was part of the commission’s sensitisation programmes towards violence-free elections.
The REC, who was represented by Mr Godfrey Achibie, Head, Voter Education and Publicity, said the commission was fully prepared to conduct free, fair and credible elections in the state.
“We are not happy that youths are easily manipulated by politicians with token of money.
“There are reports of tearing of posters and pulling down of billboards by agents of politicians. This must stop,” he cautioned.
Iloh lauded all the stakeholders, including the media, for the impressive number of registered voters in Abia, despite the apathy earlier encountered.
“At the end of the registration exercise, the total number of registered voters in Abia came to 1,933,974.
“But it is interesting to inform you that Abia registered a total number of 579,799 after the CVR was suspended on Aug. 31, 2018,” he said.
Prof. Francis Otunta, Vice-Chancellor, MOUAU, who was represented by Prof. Uchenna Okorie, Dean, Students Affairs, commended INEC for the interactive session.
He urged the students not to allow themselves to be used by politicians for electoral violence, but rather perform their civic responsibilities as good citizens. (NAN)