By NWANKWO, Grace Chinasa
Imo State has suffered a minor setback following the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to suspend activities in all the 54 additional centres created to facilitate the registration of voters across the state.
Efforts to get Imo State citizens on the election register has been put on hold because of violent activity.
After gunmen killed an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission and dispersed crowd in Ihitte Uboma Local Government Area of Imo State last Thursday, 14th April, 2022, thereby causing suspension of voter registration in more than 50 centres in Imo state. The commission had suspended the registration of fresh voters in the Ihitte, Uboma Local Government Area of the state.
However, in another statement on Friday, 15th April, 2022, by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, signalled a turn of events.
“The exercise will now be confined to our state and local government area offices except in Orsu, Njaba and Ihitte Uboma where it is suspended indefinitely.”
“This decision follows a further report from the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Francis C. Ezeonu, of threats to our staff involved in the exercise in Ehime Mbano Local Government Area. Earlier, the Commission had restricted the exercise to our offices in Oru East, Oru West, Orlu and Ohaji-Egbema local government areas.”
“Meanwhile, the Commission has now established contact with two of our staff missing after yesterday’s attack in Ihitte Uboma. They are safe and will soon be reunited with their families.”
“The safety of staff remains a primary concern to the Commission. We will continue to ensure that no staff is put in harm’s way while working with the security agencies and community leaders to protect them and facilitate their work,” the statement assured.