By Emma Amaize
… As Uduaghan finally registers
WARRI- SOME of the Direct Data Capturing, DDC machines sent to Delta State by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for the ongoing voter registration, have packed up at Ibusa, just as Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan finally registered, Saturday, with the arrival of registration materials to Warri.
He registered at his Abigbordo country home in Warri North Local Government Area, seven days after the exercise commenced.
Vanguard learned that some engineers called by INEC officials to fix the faulty DDC machines at some registration centres at Ibusa could not repair them, but, a supervisor with the Commission said all hopes were not lost.
It was gathered that the exercise commenced in the three Warri local government areas at the weekend following the shipment of DDC machines to the area. An Urhobo leader, Chief Emmanuel Okumagba, had, few days ago, called on the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in charge of the state to provide the 187 DDC machines meant for Warri South local government area in the interest of peace.
Chief Okumagba whose intervention saved a riotous situation in parts of Agbarha and Okere –Urhobo kingdom urged INEC to provide appropriate relevant manpower to do the registration, publish addresses or paste the registration centres at INEC office and remove any incompetent officer who would not be alive to his onerous responsibility.
Governor Uduaghan who finally registered at about 4.00 pm in his hometown was at a registration centre at Ezemese Primary school, Ibusa in Oshimili North Local Government
Area, on a monitoring exercise, earlier on Friday, where he was told by the registration officer Miss Joy Odobo that the machines experienced over-heating, necessitating their shutting it down in the afternoon.
As at that time, 70 persons had been registered at the centre and it took one hour to register one person when the exercise first started.
She said the DDC machines were generally malfunctioning and that hope of rectifying the problem was dashed when engineers called to fix the machines in Asaba could not find a solution.
A supervisor, Mr Emmanuel Osadebe, however, assured the governor that the machines would be repaired.
Governor Uduaghan thanked the registration officials for their efforts, while appealing to the people to give priority to pregnant women and elderly persons.
Uduaghan promised to prevail on INEC to take measures to register all eligible voters in the State despite the hitches in the early stages of the registration exercise.
He, however, pleaded with the Deltans to be patient with the electoral commission. The governor also registration units in Uzoigwe Primary school Asaba where a large crowd of people waited patiently to be attended to.
On arrival at the registration centre, Governor Uduaghan observed how the exercise was carried out before finding out the progress made so far.
The unit’s registration officer, Mr Jeremy Okoloh told the Governor that 46 persons had registered as at 12.48pm, adding that the number was an improvement on the previous days.
He blamed the slow pace of the exercise on inadequate Direct Data Capturing Machines (DDC)
Governor Uduaghan later inquired from those waiting to be registered how the exercise had been.
They decried the slow pace of the registration and appealed to the state government to intervene.
Governor Uduaghan thanked the people for their enthusiasm and appealed for patient assuring that he would liaise with INEC to find solutions for problems.
Explaining the benefits of the registration, Governor Uduaghan appealed to Deltans who are 18 years and above to register as that was the only way they could ensure the success of the one
Man, one vote campaign of the state government.
Governor Uduaghan visited Umute village in Aniocha North local government area to feel the exercise in the rural areas.
At unit 10, Aba-Unor ward ten registration centre, the registration officer, Toyi Ago waited for the people to return from the farm to register.
One hundred and thirty people had registered in the unit which did not experience hiccups.
Governor Uduaghan also visited the traditional ruler of the community, Okpala-Uku Gold Ubosiagwu who prayed for the success of the exercise.
At another unit in the village power supply which could have marred the exercise was addressed by the community which supplied a generator.
The registration officer, Mr Augustine Obubu told the Governor that 139 persons had registered
At Egware primary school registration centre Ozoro in Isoko North local government area, the people conducted themselves in an orderly manner at Uruto ward one, unit ten. The registration officer, Mr Ojiere Onyekachi told the governor that the exercise was slow.