Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo has commended the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the creation of new polling units.
The governor gave the commendation on Wednesday, when he received in audience the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Imo, Prof. Francis Ezeonu, and his team, who were in Government House, Owerri, on a courtesy call. This is contained in a release signed by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Oguwike Nwachuku, and made available to newsmen in Owerri on Wednesday.Gov. Uzodimma, who lauded the wisdom of INEC in creating additional polling units across the country ahead of the 2023 general election, said the conversion of the former voting points to polling units is “a good decision by INEC “.He thanked the INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, for what he described as “a wonderful job he is doing in Nigeria” and urged him to “remain resilient and focused.”
The Governor reiterated the willingness of his government to support INEC ahead of the 2023 general election.His words: “For us in Imo State, we will support INEC. Whatever you think we can do to make your job easy, don’t hesitate to tell us because the challenges you have in the course of discharging your duties, we will be part of the solution.”“Count us as your partners, Mr. REC, you need to serve the country, use your position to serve the country, please your conscience and God,” he said.He urged Ezeonu to interact more often with the people, adding that INEC cannot work alone.“Don’t be disturbed by anything. When the time for election comes, we will submit ourselves to your own rules. Do your business in Imo and see us as your partners,” the governor said.
Uzodimma, however, acknowledged that insecurity grossly affected the turn out for registration by Imo people who would be eligible to vote in 2023 and seized the opportunity to encourage prospective voters from the state to come out en mass to register “now that the issue of insecurity has been contained.”He reminded Imo people and those who feel marginalized or poorly treated that the time to deal with the situation starts now as they turn out to register with INEC.Earlier in his remarks, Ezeonu told the governor that Imo is trailing behind other states from the South-East as regards the number of new registrants going by their data of January 10, 2022.Though the REC also blamed the low turnout for registration on insecurity, he said there is still opportunity for those who want to register to do so, either through the INEC registration centres in the Local Government Areas or the INEC voters’ enrolment devices.
He explained that the conversion of the former voting points to full polling units became necessary to ease congestion and to make more polling units available to the electorate.Ezeonu solicited the help of the government in the area of public sensitisation and for the INEC activities ahead of the elections, slated for February 18, 2023, and March 4, 2023, respectively. (NAN)