By Nkechi Ojukwu
The executive committee of the Imo State Town Unions has called on Imolites to go for the voter registration exercise and those that have not collected their PVCs to do so in order to increase the number of voters that would vote for credible candidates, who would represent the interest of the people in 2019. The committee made this appeal during their visit to the Imo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, (REC) Prof. Francis Ezeonu in his office at Port Harcourt Road, Owerri, the Imo State capital.
In a chat with the REC, the presidents-generals, pointed out that, their visit was to discuss a way forward on how to partner with the REC to achieve his determination in making sure that INEC conducts a free, fair and credible elections in Imo State in 2019, which is paramount to the good of Imolites.
The town union presidents, lamented the fact that Imo State has the lowest number of registered voters and poor voting culture in the federation, which they said has made the union embark on sensitization in the various communities on the ongoing INEC voter registration exercise through the traditional channels of disseminating information to ensure that every adult person at the grassroots registered, and also enlightened on the primary importance of the ballot in shaping the economic and political landscape of the South-East generally.
In his response, the Imo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof Francis Chukwuemeka Ezeonu, reiterated that 2019, general elections would not be business as usual, as the body would get it right by making sure that card readers are used and that there would be no violence.
He promised that INEC would do everything possible to register all persons of voting age in the state and that all the uncollected PVCs must get to the owners before the next election to ensure that everybody participates fully.
Prof. Ezeonu, enjoined Imolites to shun the issue of collecting money and food from politicians on election day in order not to vote for the wrong person and remain hungry in the next four to eight years. He noted that even INEC officials been intimidated in so many ways by the politicians to win election at all cost to satisfied their selfish interest. The REC urged the town unions to work with INEC to avoid all the pitfalls; even as he promised that INEC would prevent anything that could cause tension during elections.
Prof. Ezeonu further revealed that presently the INEC has limited number of machines for registrations, and reassured that more new machines would be provided as well as more people employed to harness the number of voter registration each day. He expressed gratitude to the town unions president for their gesture, assuring they would work together as one body to achieve credible election in 2019.