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Enugu assembly urges INEC to restore erased voters' register

21 May 2014, 06:35

Enugu - The Enugu State House of Assembly has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to restore the alleged erased voters’ register  in four local government areas in the state.

The lawmakers made the call in Enugu on Tuesday in a motion moved by Okey Nwoke (PDP-Igboetiti West) and seven others.

They called on Gov. Sullivan Chime to constitute a delegation to INEC to officially complain about the disenfranchisement of more than 40 per cent of the electorate and explore ways of resolving it.

The legislators urged INEC to retrieve the data from sister agencies, pointing out that the voters’ register was used in the 2011 elections and the state’s local government elections in November.

In its five point motion, the assembly urged INEC to tender unreserved apology to the affected local governments as well as take full responsibility of its action.

“INEC should extend the duration of the exercise in the affected local government areas from five days to a period not shorter than one month to allow for the mobilisation of eligible voters.”

“Efforts must be made by INEC to publish the register in good time for public scrutiny long before elections are commenced in 2015 for correction where necessary,” the motion said.

All the legislators took turns to condemn the situation and called for the immediate reversal of the claim.

They said that six local government chairmen in Enugu North senatorial zone had written a protest letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, the National Assembly, Gov. Chime and the state assembly.

In his ruling, the Speaker, Mr Eugene Odo, called on Nigerians to intervene in the situation which was recorded in 10 states.

According to him, INEC should take electoral offenders to the tribunal instead of disenfranchising eligible Nigerians in the name of double registration.

“This is not how best we can achieve sustainable democracy in this country as anybody without the permanent voter card will not be allowed to vote in the 2015 elections.”

“If by May 27, nothing positive is done to correct this anomaly, we may not have any other option than to go to court because what is happening is not what anybody can explain.”

“INEC should come out to interface with Nigerians to solve this problem through dialogue because it is not a question of handing down orders as such directives will not prevail,” Odo said.

The media reports that the voters’ register in 621 polling units out of the 2945 units in the state were said to have been erased from the INEC data bank.

-    NAN

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