By Samuel Oyadongha, Austin Ogwuda and Jimitota Onoyume
THE leadership of the Democratic People’s Party, DPP, in Delta State has raised alarm over alleged recruitment of aliens to boost the registration figure in the riverine communities of the state, while alleging that some of the DDC machines had already been configured to aid the purported manipulation.
State chairman of the DPP, Chief Tony Ezeagwu, while addressing the press in Asaba, yesterday, accused the INEC State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Gabriel Ada of alleged connivance and called for his immediate removal. He said that the party has lost confidence in him to remain in that office as an unbiased umpire.
But in a sharp reaction, the Chief Public Affairs Officer of INEC, Mr. Livy Unuibe said, “I advise the DPP chairman to make a formal complain to INEC if he is sure of what he is saying. What he is saying is not possible as the DDC machines have been configured to the particular polling unit. It you are sure of your facts, then write an official complaint to the commission”.
The DPP boss, however, insisted “we call on the INEC chairman to remove Ada, INEC REC in Delta State as we have lost confidence in him.”
470,122 voters registered in Bayelsa
Less than 24 hours to the end of the two weeks earlier stipulated for the voters’ registration exercise, only about 470,122 eligible persons have registered in the predominantly riverine Bayelsa State, said the Independent National Electoral Commission, just as a group, Network of Freedom Fighters in the Niger Delta, NFFND, has called on INEC to extend the time for the exercise. According to them, this is to accommodate all eligible Nigerians, especially those in the coastal areas of the Niger Delta.
Though the commission had projected the number of eligible voters in the state to be 900,000, observers have blamed the shortfall on the hitches that characterized the take off of the exercise as well as the late arrival of the voters’ registration materials at communities in the hinterland.
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner Engr. EdwinNwatalari in an interview in Yenagoa, confirmed that only 470,122 eligible voters’ had been captured in the state.
Rivers First Lady urges women to register
WOMEN in Rivers State have been urged to ensure they participate in the ongoing voters registration exercise. Wife of Governor of the state, Mrs Judith Amaechi, who made the appeal during a session organised by Okrika Women Assembly at Okrika, said it was high time women took their rightly place on election matters.
She said the women should not leave the whole process to the men, even as she charged women to endeavour to be part of choosing those to lead them from the ward to the national levels.
“I am appealing to all the women in the state, including those from Okrika to get registered and seize the opportunity to vote. After getting registered in the ongoing voters registration exercise, you should also encourage others within your areas to register. That is what governance is about. Governance means making it right while it is wrong,” she said.