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Eligible Voters In Aba Accuse INEC Of Frustration

Eligible voters in Osisioma, Aba South and Aba North local government areas of Abia state have expressed frustration over the inability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to give them their personal voter cards (PVCs).

The voters, who spoke to newsmen separately at INEC offices in the various local government secretariats, explained that they have visited INEC offices severally without receiving their PVCs.

They alleged that if INEC was unwilling to give them their PVCs easily, it means they have ulterior motive for keeping their PVCs from reaching them.

The voters however, feared they might be disenfranchised by INEC, despite all the time, effort and money they have invested to reach INEC offices to process and receive their voters’ cards.

Victor Egbogu, one of the eligible voter’s at Aba South observed that INEC is discouraging people from believing that elections will be free and fair, by not releasing people’s PVCs.

According to him, the action of INEC affirms the claim of some electorates that some INEC officials collude with politicians to use unclaimed PVCs to rig elections and urged INEC officials to release people’s PVSs, which according to him is their right as citizens.

“They should not do that. If they say voting is our right and they are refusing to give us our PVCs, what are they going to use them for?

To ensure that the PVCs get to their owners, he advised INEC to deploy National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members to share the cards.

“If each NYSC member is given the cards belonging to a ward to share, it will be easy for people to collect their PVCs and attend to other businesses, instead of wasting time visiting INEC office.

Chibuike Uchennanna, from Aba North Local Government, said he was not aware of the plan by INEC to go to the wards today to hand in the cards, hence his presence at the office.

Onyebuchi Nwaonorue, whose father registered before he died, said they should give him his father’s card if they were not using it for any other purpose.

Mr. Chizuru Dioka, expressed pain at lack of equipment like computers at the INEC offices in the state, which could help to verify registered persons, before searching for their cards in order to save time.

He also urged INEC to give them the cards of their dead relatives, if they were not using them to help politicians rig elections.

Chiemela Chiavoghilefu explained that he has visited Osisioma, over five times to collect his PVCs, which he said has not been given to him.

The respondents stated that they would be angry, if at the end of the day INEC refuses to release their cards to enable them vote, noting that they would believe that INEC disenfranchised them intentionally to fulfill their ulterior motives.

However, Mr. Chijioke Ude, electoral officer, Osisioma Local Government, explained that his office has been making serious efforts to distribute PVCs to their owners.

He regretted that the number of staff in his office cannot match the number of persons coming to the office to collect their PVCs, stressing that the eligible voters are impatient.

He explained further that persons desiring to transfer from one state to another with only temporary voters’ cards were misinformed as INEC does not transfer temporary cards adding that such persons needed was fresh registration.

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