Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The governorship flag bearer of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in Abia State, Professor Gregory Ibe, has called for the extension of voting time in Abia North following growing complaints of late arrival of voting materials in the district.
Professor Ibe who decried the situation, said it could lead to mass disenfranchisement if no steps were taken to remedy the situation.
There have been complaints from many parts of Abia State including Abia North, that both INEC officials and materials were not in sight.
According to reports and complaints from voters in parts of the state, voting was yet to commence as at 1:00 pm in many of the polling units.
A voter who called Ikengaonline from Isiama in Elu Ohafia, said voting material had not come to any part of Ohafia as at 1:02 pm.
Disturbed by the development, Prof Ibe called on INEC to upwardly review the time for the closure of voting in the entire Abia North to avoid disenfranchising the people.
“Information sourced by our situation room from the five Local Government Areas of Abia North confirmed that most polling units in Bende, Umunneochi, Ohafia, Arochukwu and here in Isuikwuato have not received voting materials at almost mid-day today.
“This is in spite of the fact that our people trooped out early in their numbers. I, therefore, want to use this medium to request INEC to promptly extend the accreditation and voting period to 5 pm so as not to disenfranchise our people from performing this important national assignment.”
Prof Ibe appealed to the people of Abia North not to be discouraged but to exercise patience while waiting for arrival of the materials in order to perform their constitutional duty.
“I advise our people to refuse to be discouraged but to patiently wait for arrival of the materials to enable them vote in this crucial election,” he concluded.