The traditional ruler of Ishiagu autonomous community in Ebonyi, Igwe Moses Okafor-Ngele, on Friday called on INEC to make registration centres more accessible to prospective voters by decentralising them.
Okafor-Ngele made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria against the backdrop of the challenges being faced by some potential voters in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise.
He said that the use of local government headquarters for the CVR had made it difficult for most people to register.
The monarch said majority of eligible voters in many parts of the state were living far from their local government headquarters and found it hard to travel and register.
“The problem of accessibility to some of the LGA headquarters by many intending registrants is a major setback to the ongoing exercise and hence INEC should come up as a matter of urgency with a solution.
“Let the commission create more registration centres or adopt existing polling units as registration points so that people can have easy access to register,’’ he said.
Okafor-Ngele urged eligible members of the community to register in the ongoing exercise, saying this was crucial to the electoral process.
He commended the electoral body for starting the process on time and stressed that members of the community had been well sensitised and mobilised for full participation in the exercise.
According to him, the bargaining power left to a people or community in any political transaction could only be expressed in their voting strength.
He expressed profound joy on the high level of participation of the subjects in the ongoing voter registration.
“The only way to choose and throw out a nonperforming or bad government is through the ballot box.
“I want to appeal to my people, especially those leaving outside the community and have yet to register, to come back home and do the registration to swell up our voting strength.
“I also want to use this medium to urge those who have not registered before and those who were below 18 in the last registration exercise to turnout in their large numbers to register,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the INEC Electoral Officer (EO) in Ivo Local Government Area, Mrs Maria Nwogha, told NAN that the exercise was recording massive turnout in the area.
According to her, traditional rulers and community leaders are mobilising their people for the registration.
The INEC official, who did not give the exact figure of people who have so far registered, said that people were coming in large number daily from the various communities to register.
“The exercise is recording a huge success in the local government and this is due to the cooperation and support from the various stakeholders, including politicians, traditional rulers and community leaders.
“We heard that some of the communities hire buses that convey some eligible voters who have no means to transport themselves to the headquarters.
“I am impressed by the massive response of the people,’’ Nwogha said.