…As thousands leave for home disappointed in Onitsha
By Chinonso Alozie & Chimaobi Nwaiwu
ONITSHA— Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, yesterday, alleged that some of the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, have perfected plans to deprive Ndigbo from getting registered in the ongoing voters registration exercise.
MASSOB made this claim in a statement in Owerri signed by its National Secretary, Mr Ugwuoke Ibem Ugwuoke.
According to the release, “the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, raises grave concerns over the ongoing voters registration exercise in Igboland where Ndigbo are being frustrated and disenfranchised by the staff of INEC.
“This activity of INEC officials is one of the major reasons why MASSOB may not support the conduct of general elections of 2019 in Biafraland.”
According to the release,“reports gathered by MASSOB intelligence proves that INEC has started the process of rigging and doctoring the incoming elections to favour the interest of Hausa-Fulani.
“Last week at Aguata, MASSOB witnessed indiscriminate acts of INEC officials at a remote location in Ekwuluobia.
“MASSOB saw a lot of young people hanging around but they were not registering.We were informed that INEC said they can’t register because they were 18 years at the point of the last registration in 2014 but they did not register.
“MASSOB sees this condition as a smooth way to disenfranchise the people of Eastern region in the coming elections.”
Thousands leave for home disappointed
In Onitsha, thousands of residents who came out to register for the ongoing voter registration exercise, yesterday, returned home disappointed following insufficient machines and manpower.
In Onitsha North and South Council Areas, only one machine each was provided by INEC to register the over 4,000 people that came out to register in each of the council areas, which made many people not to be registered despite the two days public holidays declared by Governor Willie Obiano to enable people participate in the exercise in the state.
Some people left their homes as early as 5 a.m to join the long queue but lack of machines and man-power compounded their situation and made most of the people go home without being registered.
An INEC official in Onitsha North Local Government Area, who pleaded anonymity, blamed the delay and inability to register more people on insufficient machine and workers to handle the machines, saying they could not go beyond the capacity available.
Some residents who spoke with Vanguard lamented that they went on the two holidays to register but were not attended to. And they decided to go to Onitsha North LGA yesterday and it was the same story.
“It is shocking that the same government that want people to register and went as far as declaring work free days could not provide easy way for people to get registered. “State government declared work free day for two days and at the end of the day it did not yield any positive result, many did not register.
“We can tell you that in two days now between Monday and Tuesday in this place they have not registered up to 400 persons upon all these people that came out. Some lost their cards and needed to get another one while others wanted to get registered for the first time.
“It is worrisome that they are using only one machine in a local government, I lost my voters card and wanted to get new one, but could not because a lot of people i met on ground as still waiting to be registered but could not and so many left because nobody advise them to stay.”