18 May 2017

Nigeria: Monarchs Seek Role in Voter Registration

Owerri and Lagos — The Imo State Chairman of Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Sam Agunwa Ohiri has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to include the monarchs in the on-going Permanent Voters Card (PVC) registration exercise to ensure its success.

Ohiri made the assertion when INEC's heads of departments, led by the Administrative Secretary, Charles Ezema, paid him a courtesy visit at his palace in Owerri, Imo State.

He expressed concerns over the low rate of voter card distribution in the five states of the South-East geo-political zone comprising Imo, Abia, Ebonyi, Anambra and Enugu.

He called for the removal of bottlenecks in the exercise, adding that the inclusion of royal fathers in the state would facilitate the process, both mass mobilisation and assisting the officials to achieve their aims without hindrance.

Ezema said they visited the royal father to solicit support from him and other monarchs to ensure smooth distribution of the PVCs, expressing satisfaction with the peaceful conduct of the exercise so far.He appealed to those who have attained the mandatory age of 18 years and above to register without delay.

Meanwhile, the Igbo Ekunie Initiative (IEI) comprising individuals in Nigeria and the Diaspora have called for massive voter registration in the South-East and South-South to leverage political participation and representation of the regions.

The group said there have been ploys to boycott elections in the regions due to grievances by its indigenes.This was disclosed in a statement signed by its President; Tochukwu Ezeoke, who pointed out that boycotting election would have devastating consequences on the regions and their people.

"While acknowledge and share the legitimate grievances giving rise to calls for boycotting elections but we wish to state that any boycott would be counter-productive as it would only further empower those who pursue policies that led to the grievances in the first place."

"Nigeria's political history since the first republic has shown that boycotting elections only provided worse outcomes for those who did so out of legitimate grievances. Notably. Elections were never cancelled as a result and those with opposing ideas only got vested with absolute powers," he said.


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