An Igbo socio-cultural association, Igbo Bu Igbo, has thrown its weight behind the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who recently alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is deliberately disenfranchising the Igbo people in the on-going continuous voter registration exercise.
The Igbo group, in a statement signed by Dr. Law-Mefor Anueyiagu and Jude Ndukwe, Chancellor and Publicity Secretary, respectively, and made available to newsmen, said nothing can be further from the truth as spoken by the Ohanaeze leader.
“Recall that just few days ago, our leader and father, Chief Nnia Nwodo, gave some troubling reports about the continuous voter registration being conducted by INEC by stating that the electoral body is disenfranchising the Igbo people by sending inadequate staff and machines to the region for the continued voter registration exercise.
We want to reiterate that in as much as we are not pleased to say it, that report is true and most regrettable”, the statement said.
Continuing, the Igbo Bu Igbo group said it is not only that the staff strength and machines deployed to conduct the exercise in the southeast are inadequate, but that the machines hardly function.
“We therefore call on INEC to urgently address these issues as they are beginning to confirm notions everywhere that this is a deliberate ploy by the electoral body to ensure that they weaken the voting powers of the region even as the 2019 general elections approach.
“We also call on INEC to acquit itself of all these complaints by also dealing with the issue of discrimination against the Igbo in the registration exercise in the northern part of the country. A situation where some people are registered without hindrance or while others are made to pass through some manmade difficulties before they could be registered depending on their regions of origin is, to say the least, most unfortunate and destructive to the general good and growth of our democracy”.
The group concluded by saying it has set up its own monitoring machinery to continue to observe the registration exercise nationwide particularly as it concerns the Igbo people saying despite the shortcomings observed in the exercise, they “are ready to support INEC in any way possible it requires to make the exercise, free, fair and credible”.