By Stanley Nwanosike
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Tuesday, appealed to its stakeholders to mobilise more registrants for the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) in Enugu State.
The state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Emeka Ononamadu, made the call at an INEC engagement with critical stakeholders on the ongoing Fourth Quarter of CVR which began on April 12 in Enugu State.
Ononamadu said that the registration figure of the state had remained low, adding that “after three quarters of CVR registration, we are having about 31,000”.
He said that in this fourth quarter CVR registration, INEC would move its CVR registration to political wards and open up more means of polling units transfer especially for the newly created 1,000 polling units in the state.
“The new polling units will make polling booths closer, polling activities seamless and easy; while INEC will publish the new polling units by next week and paste it in public places within the state.
“We have done only 3,000 transfers in the state and our people should make more transfers to the new polling units to lessen distance and cumbersomeness.
“I am appealing to the media, traditional rulers, President-Generals, religious leaders and youth leaders to help us mobilise and enlighten our people on the need to go for their CVR registration,” he said.
The REC said that INEC had graciously added more time for the CVR registration in the South-East to accommodate for the disruptions on Mondays, adding that “It is now from 9a.m. to 5p.m against the previous 9a.m. to 3p.m.”
He attributed the low turnout for the CVR registration to fear, insecurity and some people with the old stereotype of votes not counting.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Enugu State Traditional Rulers’ Council, Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu, said that the state needed to do better in the ongoing CVR, to positively influence the electoral system.
“I am calling on the people in general to take the issue of participating in the ongoing CVR seriously. We needed to increase the number of successful registrants in all wards in the state,” Agubuzu said.
In the same vein, Igwe N.F. Ilochi, Traditional Ruler of Ihuonyia Community in Ezeagu Local Government Area, urged INEC to increase more registration centres at the community level and engage more stakeholders through advocacy.
Ilochi assured INEC that the traditional rulers and other community leaders would continue to sensitise their subjects on the implication and importance of getting their Permanent Voters Card through the CVR.
Mr Maurice Okafor, a journalist, urged INEC and political parties to devise means to ensure “soft incentive” to lure people, especially those in the rural areas to come out due to their level of poverty.
“When you do this, it will surprise you the magic that this singular measure will do and increase the number of registrants greatly in the state,” Okafor said.
A civil society activist, Mr Ugonna Uzor, urged INEC to create CVR registration centres at the same point you have National Identity Number (NIN) registration centres since most people are trooping to the NIN Centres. (NAN)