Ugo Nosiri, Owerri
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has appealed to the clergy to use the pulpit to mobilise the electorate to turn out en masse in the November 11, governorship election in Imo State.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Professor Sylvia Agu, gave the charge in Owerri during a meeting with religious leaders and leaders of faith-based organisations in preparation for the election.
Professor Agu said the religious bodies are strategic in shaping the opinion of the people hence the need for them to encourage their members to shun voter apathy and participate in the November 11 poll.
She called on stakeholders in the election to build more confidence in the electoral umpire as the Commission had taken measures to ensure that some of the lapses witnessed during the last elections do not re-occur.
Professor Agu explained that INEC had embarked on training of electoral officers and security agents to ensure seamless election and gave an assurance that the off-cycle election will be free, fair and credible.
Some of the religious leaders commended INEC for the proactive measures it has taken so far but stressed the need for the commission to be more transparent in its approach to regain the confidence of the people.
They promised to sensitise their members on the need to collect their permanent voter’s cards, come out and vote during the election. They also promised to offer prayers for the peaceful conduct of the election.