From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
Piqued by the low registration in the South East especially Enugu State in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), a Non-Governmental Organisation, Elite Group has introduced incentives to boost people’s participation in the exercise in the state.
The first batch of the incentives which came through free raffle draws took place at Iheaka, Igbo-Eze North Local Government of Enugu State at the weekend with many registered voters smiling home with mouthwatering gifts.
At the end of the draws the one 42ft plasma television, one double deck refrigerator, one sewing machine, three gas cooker with cylinders, three mobile phones, three electric irons and other consolation gifts for all that have the raffle ticket.
Speaking during maiden raffle draws, the Grand Patron of the group and sponsor of the raffle draw, Dr. Felix Ugwu said the gesture was meant to encourage the people of the community to discharge their civic responsibilities.
Ugwu, who is with Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) and who observed with dismay the low level of registration of voters in the South East particularly Enugu State, noted that it was time well meaning politicians in the region and state encouraged their people to participate in the CVR.
He said, “Although I am not a politician but the situation in the region and Enugu State is worrisome and we need to find a way to address it.
“We cannot be crying of marginalisation and still fail to participate in a process that would enable us choose our political leaders.”
Disclosing that he had to partner with the local youth group in order to arouse the consciousnesses and interest of their people in the political process, Ugwu said, “I noticed that the politicians are missing the mark. Then I decided that in order to get our people interested in the CVR, there must be incentives.
“Any member of the community who shows evidence of registration will automatically have a ticket for the raffle draws.
Once you have the ticket, you must surely win something.”
Ugwu commended the group for their efforts at ensuring that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission were assisted to seamlessly carry out the CVR in the community.
Chairman of the group, Mr Vitus Nnamani, earlier had said that the exercise was meant to boost voter registration in Likke/Akautara and Ugo/Ekoyi Wards in Iheaka community.
According to the former Secretary to Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area, “once your registration is located within the two wards, you stand a chance to win a prize.”
The second prize winner, Mrs Ngozi Asogwa, from Umeze Onum Iheaka who was overwhelmed with joy for winning refrigerator said she never expected such and appealed to their people to participate in the CVR and also vote during elections.