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Gov Uzodinma lied? INEC says voters’ registration remains suspended in Imo



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied a submission by Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State that the Continuous Voter Registration program had resumed in areas where it had previously been discontinued in the state.

Festus Okoye, National Commissioner of INEC and Chairman of the commission’s Information and Voter Education Committee, said in a statement on Tuesday, that the commission’s position had not changed.

Following the killing of a staff in an attack on its workers in Ihitte Uboma Local Government Area and reports of violence in other parts of the state, the commission paused the CVR operation in all 54 additional centers created to ease voter registration across Imo State.

Uzodinma had stated, during a church service at the Government House Chapel in Owerri on Sunday, that INEC had agreed to lift the ban, and that the CVR will begin on Monday, April 25, 2022.

According to reports, the governor’s involvement was vital to allow Imo people to register and get their Permanent Voter Cards before the next general election.

“By Monday, April 25, 2022, the CVR will resume in all the designated centres while the three local governments under ban will carry out the registration at their local government headquarters.

“Those who are deliberately scaring the people away from registering are enemies of the state who want to draw the state back knowing full well that the INEC registration and the population census are yardsticks for Federal Revenue Allocation to states and local governments,” the Governor said.

But, according to Okoye, the exercise was still limited to the commission’s state and local government offices, with the exception of Orsu, Njaba, and Ihitte Uboma Local Government Areas, where it has been postponed indefinitely.

Read also: Imo APC slams PDP for accusing Gov Uzodinma over security challenges in state

He urged the people to dismiss the report that the CVR had resumed in the three LGAs of Orsu, Njaba, and Ihitte Uboma.

The INEC Chairman said, “While the commission is not unmindful of the imperative of giving every eligible Nigerian the opportunity to register and vote in future elections, the safety and security of citizens involved in the exercise is a paramount concern.

“Such statements are capable of misleading the public and further jeopardising the safety of registrants and officials as well as the security of the Commission’s facilities.

“At the appropriate time, the Commission will announce any new decision on the matter after consultation with the security agencies and critical stakeholders.”

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