The Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deploy more registration machines to the South East states to ensure willing voters got registered and were not disenfranchised.
The organisation’s Chairman in Aba, Dr. Charles Chinekezi, who made the call during an interview with reporters, applauded INEC for extending the registration deadline and increasing the number of registration machines in use in Lagos, Kano, and the five South East states. He however, stressed that 209 machines shared among 179 local governments of Lagos, Kano and South East were inadequate to ease the registration process, and asked the electoral umpire to add more machines and new registration points in the South East, to ensure that persons coming for registration were not frustrated into withdrawal.
“If we must achieve anything in this election preparation time, we need to do things differently.
“INEC some days ago, announced the release of 209 registration machines to be given to jumbo states of Kano, Lagos and the five South East States.
“The South East has 95 local government areas, densely populated and intense with political activities, and INEC has received reports that in the South East LGAs, there are only one or two machines to register people. This is frustrating to potential voters, especially those in the rural areas without access to the online registration platform, because it keeps them on queue all day long only to be asked to return the next day,” Dr. Chinekezi said.
Regretting that at the end, nobody explains why they have to stay on the line all day long and be told to return the following day, he posited that if INEC does not change the trend, all the positive achievements it had recorded in the process, will only turn around to look like a deliberate earlier rigging of an election that will take place one year ahead.