The Anambra State chapter of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has made a passionate appeal to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend on going voters registration exercise in the country in view of large numbers of prospective registrants, especially in the South East, that are yet to be registered.
This was contained in a press statement issued to newsmen and endorsed by Comrades Vincent Ezekwueme, Chidi Mbah and Hyginus Udensi, chairman, secretary and treasurer respectively, tagged “Let us transform to political giants“.
The CLO made the appeal while accessing the ongoing continuous voters registration exercise in the state, slated to end on July 31.
INEC had announced that the continuous voters registration exercise will end on 31st July 2022, meanwhile, nearly forty percent of legible prospective registrants may be disfranchised if urgent steps are not taken to remedy and redeem the despicable and detestable situation.
Reacting, the group stated: “In every democratic nation, the electoral umpire must ensure that all legible adults of age are registered in order to give every citizens opportunity to participate in the electoral processes, so as to give acceptable credibility to the outcome of the election.
“Unfortunately, unprecedented difficulties encountered by prospective registrants, ranging from lack of adequate registration officials and materials to nonchalant attitude of registration officials, late arrival of registration officials and materials, malfunction of registration equipment, frustrating and demoralizing of prospective registrants as some of them went to register more than three times without success, demand for financial gratification and inducements, and impatient attitude of some prospective registrants has hampered good intentions of both government and INEC to ensure that every citizens of the country from 18 years and above get registered.
“Most pathetic is South East in which registration exercise is more cumbersome as was reflected in the recently released registration records of six geo political zones of the country, in which South East still remains the least registered zone.
“It is necessarily necessary for the political, religious, civil society organizations, markets, opinion leaders and stakeholders to expedite actions and work assiduously, collectively and collaboratively to change the ugly narrative through mobilization and sensitization of citizens for adequate participation in the continuous voters registration exercise and return the zone to political giant, honour and glory.
“It is noteworthy that docile citizens precipitate docile leaders and bad governance. One pertinent question begging for answers from our leaders is: if the zone is not the least populated zone in the country, why is the zone the least in political participation?
“It is worrisome and every leader and stakeholders should be worried, upset and intervene in education of citizens to know and believe that politics derives and determines socioeconomic, political, religious and cultural life of every nation.
“We wish to reiterate our earlier appeal to various leaders to launch “Operation Obtain and Show Your Voters Card” as panacea to indifference and nonchalant attitude of citizens of the zone.
“Our governors should emulate governors of other zones that have declared public holiday to enable citizens to obtain their PVC.
“It is no exaggeration but existential reality that majority of the citizenry are ignorant of political powers.
“During our sensitization and mobilization exercise, some of the traders and citizens lamented how can they close their shops and pay money to obtain PVC and vote for selfish political leaders that care less about their welfare.
“It is also noteworthy for our leaders to tackle challenges faced by prospective registrants and always bear the interest and welfare of the citizenry at heart in words and actions.
“Let us transform our zone into political giant, which is desideratum towards actualizing much cherished but elusive Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in 2023.
“Unless and until we do things right, the future, just like the present, will be very bleak,” CLO posited.
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