Dr Nwabu Mgbemena, a former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was on Sunday disenfranchised in the rescheduled Anambra Governorship Election in Idemili North.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that INEC on Saturday rescheduled the election in the area following the late arrival of materials, leading to the refusal of the electorate to participate.
NAN reports that sensitive and non-sensitive materials arrived in the area at about 4 p.m. when voting in the election was supposed to have ended in the state.
INEC National Chairman Attahiru Jega, in a television interview on Sunday, blamed the incident on the INEC official in charge of the area, whom, he said, “messed up” the commission’s arrangement for the area.
Meanwhile, accreditation for the rescheduled election started late on Sunday as INEC officials waited for registered voters to return from church.
NAN reports that Amb. Ahmed Wali, the INEC National Commissioner involved in the rescheduled election, stopped INEC ad hoc staff from allowing Mgbemena, an indigene of Obosi, from voting.
In an interview over his disefranchisement, Mgbemena said that he was at the verge of being accredited when the INEC commissioner walked in.
The former NAN managing director explained that the INEC local government headquarters at Ogidi had cleared him and laminated a print out of his registration card containing his picture, following his complaint of the loss of his original voter registration card.
“When I got to this polling unit located within St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Obosi, I approached the INEC presiding officer, who said my name was not in the register.
“Later, the officer said my name had been located in the register and that I should come forward to be accredited. As this was going on, I saw the INEC national commissioner walk in and approach me over the issue.
“After explaining to him and showing him the card from the INEC office in Ogidi, he walked up to the presiding officer and simply told them not to allow me to vote.
“When I asked him why, he said INEC Law says nobody should vote without a voter’s card.
“I am totally dissapointed and ashamed that these are the crop of officials running the affairs of this nation,” Mgbemena said.
A staff of INEC who confirmed the incident to NAN on grounds of anonymity, said they were never asked to stop people without voter’s card from voting.
“The directive is to allow those whose names are in the register and whose faces match the picture in the register.
“We were shocked when the national commissioner directed us not to allow him to vote, despite the fact that his name was on the register with his picture and he had been cleared by INEC office.”
According to him, INEC workers cannot disobey the directive of a superior officer, even when they have their reservations regarding the matter, adding: “and the fact that he is an old decent man”.