3rd August, 2010
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), will use the existing voters’ register for the 2011 general elections, if plans to compile a new one fails, Dr. Humphrey Nwangele, Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ebonyi, has said.
Nwangele made the statement yesterday in Abakaliki when he paid a courtesy call on Gov. Martin Elechi.
He said the Commission would continue its plans to produce a fresh electronic voter register between October and November, using the existing one as a backup.
“In our bid to ensure that no eligible voter is disenfranchised in next yearâ€™s election, we call on the government to provide all modalities that would ensure the compilation of a new voter register,â€ he said.
The commissioner attributed the persistent voter apathy in the country to the high level of illiteracy, stressing that the Commission was making concerted efforts to address the problem.
He appealed to the people to register during the fresh electronic voter registration to enable them to vote and “ensure that people with questionable character are not voted into power.â€™â€™
He said his posting to the “state is timely as the Commission is strategising and repositioning to face the challenges of conducting the forthcoming general election in 2011.â€™â€™
He also solicited the support of the state government to sensitise and enlighten the people on the importance of registration and voting.
“The ownership of a voterâ€™s card is the only passport to any election in the country and this is the reason the electorate should be adequately enlightened on the need to participate effectively in the registration process,â€™â€™ he noted.
He reiterated the determination of the Commission in the state to conduct credible, free and fair elections in 2011, adding that he would ensure a level playing field for all political parties.
The governor, however, advised the Commission to be cautious in printing electoral materials to avoid disenfranchising the electorate during next yearâ€™s general elections.
Elechi assured the Commission of adequate security and other logistics for the 2011 elections.
He said the recent peaceful conduct of local government elections in the state showed that the people were ready to adopt a peaceful behaviour during the elections.