Nonsochukwu Uwa, Owerri
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Association of South East Town Unions, ASETU and African Democratic Congress, ADC, on Sunday called for a one-month extension of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) for one month to allow residents register for their permanent voter’s card, PVC, at the various registration points.
They gave this advice in Owerri while reacting to the July 31 deadline for the exercise issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
They were of the view that should INEC go ahead with the deadline that a lot of eligible voters would be disenfranchised.
First to speak was the Publicity Secretary of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Alex Ogbonnia who said, “the facilities that are supposed to be used to register enough people were not there in the South-East” and that “the natural thing to do is to extend it by one month.
“However, I want to commend the Igbos for turning out largely to register. I want to correct the impression that the South-East is the least registered and that they did not register sufficiently.
“If you go to any part of the country you see Igbo in large numbers. When the northern group issued quit notice to the Igbos living in the North that was when we took statistics of the Igbos. We have fourteen million Igbos in the northern region. We have 4.5 million Igbos in the South-West region.
“By the time you engage the voter’s registration, you will see that there is no ethnic group that is near the number of the Igbos.”
Also Speaking, the National President of the Association of South-East Town Unions, ASETU, Emeka Diwe, said: “It would not be out of place to extend the voter’s registration by one month and it would not be harmful to INEC.
“There will be no plus or minus rather it will add to the electoral process, Given the fact, that there was some kind of disruption, retardation and distractions of the exercise.”
The National Vice Chairman South-East of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, Chilos Godsent, said: “There is a plot by INEC, to shortchanged the South-East, they centralised the registration exercise instead of decentralising the registration process. We are not happy with the process. They should have extended it down to the ward level.”