The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has approved 10 additional registration centres in Enugu State for the ongoing nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR). The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Mr Emeka Ononammadu, disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Tuesday. Ononammadu said that the new centres were in addition to eight others earlier created and functioning across the state.
He explained that the 18 registration centres excluded the existing centres in INEC offices in each of the 17 local government areas in the state, fully deployed for the exercise. The REC said that the new centres were created to remove any form of encumbrances in the registration process, adding that it was the wish of the electoral body for every eligible person to be registered.
He named the location of the newly-approved centres as Emene, Eha-Amufu, Iva Valley, Nenwe, Obinofia Ndiuno, Amadim, Awlor, Onoli, Awgu and Oji River. The initial eight centres are in Udi, Nsukka, Udenu, Igboeze North, Adani, Nkanu East, Igboeze South and Enugu East. “The essence is to make the work considerably easy. I think on that we are doing well.
“However, the challenge is that every community, including those very close to the registration centres, will want our officers to come to them. “There are people who live very far away. These are the areas we go to make things a little easier for residents of such areas,” he said.
Ononammadu said that the commission’s staff mobilised for the exercise were performing well, “considering the vast areas they cover as well as other issues outside their control’’. He added that the electoral body was being tactful in conducting the exercise to avoid some of the pitfalls noticed in previous exercises. “We want to do things we can monitor very well. In the past there were complaints that people were taking the machines to the houses of politicians.“We do not want that to happen and nobody has sent complaints that our people have gone where they are not supposed to be to register people and that gladdens my heart.
“Normally, the registrations are done in public places where citizens have access to so that you do not end up doing them in places where only one particular party’s supporters will go and register,” he said. The REC said that it was the desire of INEC to achieve a credible voter register.
He, however, said that the exercise had not been without challenges, but noted that such hiccups were not enough to warrant complaints. “Most times when you go to those far areas where you are unable to go without a generator, your backup battery may not last to cover a large number of people.
“We have schedules for our movement which are usually announced to people of those areas. “People should register because they want to vote and not because they want to use our identity card for private business,” he said. Ononammadu said that Nigerians had yearned for a credible voter register and that the electoral body was ready to provide that to guarantee credible polls. “Nigerians should commend INEC for taking this bold step and not screaming blue murder due to a very little hiccup without looking at the intention of the commission. “This is what the citizens are yearning for and we are giving it to them. It is a national call-to-duty and we must get it right,” he said.