Leaders of eastern Nigerian groups that met mid-week in Lagos has called on INEC to extend the on-going voter registration and validation excercises to avoid de-enfranchizibg Nigerians.
According to them, this owes to the fact that majority of Nigerians who have registered are yet to collect their voting cards even as many who relocated as a result of the security situation in the country have not been able to transfer and collect their voting cards.
They posited that plans by INEC to close either the pre-registration or card validation goes against good concience since the general elections would come up February 2023. They however called on Nigerians who are yet to register to avail themselves of the opportunity between now and May 30.
The leaders include the National President Association of South East Town Unions, Chief Emeka r Diwe; President Ebonyi State Development Association, Felix Amannechi; The President Igbo Women Assembly, Chief Mrs Nneka Chimezie; Secretary Akurolu Development Foundation, Mr Emmanuel Mok; Mr Ben Aka of Ndigbo Lagos.
Others include Chris Uzoma, Okanandu, Secretary Aka Ikenga, Prince Ejituru Ikenga, Acting President, Association of East Town Unions, Lagos and Chuks Smith, Vice President Ohanaeze Lagos, among other leaders.
Speaking at the event the Akurolu Secretary maintained that there was need to inform all and sundry about the closing date of the INEC voters registration exercise in order to get more Nigerians registered in the overall interest of democracy and good governance.
According to him, while it’s in the overall interest of the Nigerian nation for more of our people to register and voter hence the need to campaign for further elongation of the registration the onus is also upon us to sensitize our people to register within the remaining space.
He said because of the online registration issue that Nigerians at the grassroots would need the support of our leaders in grassroots levels to provide needed equipments and skilled IT specialists to achieve results within the time frame.
Hence, the position of Mr Smith that other grassroots leaders in the markets and communities needs to be contacted to ably play the needed roles in the short time available.
Mr John Chukwu in his contribution said the emphasis should not only be on the need for INEC to extend but that people should help their family ,friends and others who are yet to obtain their cards to register,authenticate their cards and ensure they vote in the coming polls.
Other participants were of the view that the under hand businesses noticed by some Nigerians should be investigated before INEC officials can then be condemned or ptaised so far in the process.