Residents of Aba, Abia’s commercial hub, have decried the slow pace of voters’ registration at Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) offices in the town, thereby frustrating people from the exercise.
Some residents who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at Osisioma, Aba South and Obingwa Local Government Areas (LGA) on Friday, expressed fears that they might not get registered.
As the Continuous Voter Registration (CRV) closes on Sunday, Osisioma, Aba South and Obingwa LGA’s are seeing huge crowd scrambling to enter INEC’S registration rooms but are shut off with locked doors and iron bars.
Dayo Odejaye, in Aba, said the way the INEC staff attended to people showed that they were either short-staffed or not following helpful procedure in the registration.
“The number of people here should be reducing each time but it is not so.
“My suggestion is that whenever government wants to do anything that has to bring crowds together, they should plan it well to ensure they do not make citizens believe they are being punished,’’ he said.
Mrs Success Chinweobo said she came to get a new voter’s card but would not be able to wait in the crowded space for it.
She complained of irregularities and slow pace which had caused some persons to return home and called for proper handling of the process.
Chidiebere Francis, another resident said he had been coming for the registration and writing down his name but the process did not get to his turn until the end of the work day.
He said he came to INEC Osisioma LGA office on Thursday by 7 a.m. but had not been attended to at about 11 a.m.
He said he could not come since the registration began because he was an intern and his master did not allow him to go for it until now.
Francis expressed regret that her sick mother was willing to register too but could not get to the local government area.
He asked for a non-stop registration to enable his sick mother, who had started recovering, to register.
An INEC official, who pleaded anonymity, attributed the upsurge to the last minute rush mentality of many Nigerians which they were working hard to handle.
He noted that the number of officers available at the commission’s offices remained the same and appealed to everyone to exercise patience.
thHe said the crowd included those that registered online but failed to conclude the process within the stipulated three weeks for the exercise.
The INEC official said they were using various designated centres for people who could not come to INEC office.
He said the registration officers also extended their working hours to 5 p.m. daily to accommodate more people.
Meanwhile, Abia Government had cancelled Saturday’s general clean-up to enable residents go for the registration.(NAN)