Good Governance Ministry(GGM) has called INEC Commissioner in Anambra State to pay attention to the ongoing voters registration exercise in various registration centres . Chinedu Asuzu who made the call from Onitsha when he visited one of the registration centres . According to Comrade Asuzu , INEC Officers have turned the Registration centers to another business centers where all manner of tricks were deplored to extort money from people in the name of facilitating the registration process. Comrade Asuzu further confirmed that the number of people visiting INEC registration centers has increased since certain Political parties elected their flagbearers.
”No doubt , there is high hopes in next year’s general election. All the stakeholders including Governors and political parties should work with INEC to ensure that everybody is registered before the deadline” Asuzu concluded.
However ,Chima Christian reported that while the citizens are willing to perform their patriotic duty as has been evidenced by the crowds in various registration centres reveals INEC’s unpreparedness to cater to Anambra’s voter registration demands.
There are just 22 registration centres, 44 data capturing devices and about 176 INEC staff deployed on CVR exercise in the whole of Anambra State. For context, Anambra has 326 political wards, 5,720 polling units and a 2020 population estimate of 6.3 million.
At the average time of 6 minutes per completed registration, and the number of man-hours available till the conclusion of this exercise, there is already a limit as to the number of eligible Anambra voters INEC can successfully process their registration requests.
Comrade Chima confirmed that compromised INEC staff now allegedly collect bribes from citizens to fast track their registrations. The alternative might be to spend the whole day at the centre without a guarantee of successful registration. This is frustrating.
Chima calls on INEC to immediately deploy at least 326 data capturing devices in Anambra State. These devices are to be deployed to the various INEC local government offices according to the number of wards in those LGAs.
For instance, Nnewi North LGA which has ten wards must have at least ten registration points inside the approved centre to cater for the huge population that daily besiege that registration centre.
In the wake of recent developments in Anambra, government must take all necessary precautions to ensure that INEC staff on CVR duty in Anambra and prospective Anambra voters who are now clustered in various registration centres are offered all necessary protection.
The coming general elections hold so much promise for Nigerians. Even as we encourage more and more eligible citizens to plan to vote for their preferred candidates, we invite every critical stakeholder to play their part to make the process seamless.