Traditional rulers and Religious leaders have been urged to remain neutral and non partisan during the forthcoming general election in the country.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC Abia State, Dr Joseph Iloh made this known during an interactive session organized for traditional and religious leaders by the commission in Umuahia.
Dr Iloh urged the custodians of culture and faith in the State to ensure that electoral violence and political thuggery did not take place within their domains.
He also urged them to sensitize and mobilize their subjects on the need to go and collect their Permanent Voter Cards at INEC Registration centers in the State, noting that over 370 PVC’s were yet to be collected
Dr Iloh noted that the State had recorded a total of one million; nine hundred and thirty three thousand, nine hundred and seventy four voters which made it to come third after Lagos and Rivers States in country.
On the use of card reader during the election, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner said that the commission had taken delivery of one hundred and eighty four generating sets to power the machines.
He reassured the people of INEC readiness to conduct free, fair and credible elections stating that arrangements had been made with various transport unions towards provision of vehicles for conveying electoral materials to their designated polling units in time on the Election Days.
Some of traditional and religious leaders commended INEC for its efforts towards ensuring a free, fair and credible elections and pledged to carry the message to their various communities, churches and mosques.
The theme of the interactive program is ‘making your vote count, consolidating our democracy’.
Also,INEC in Anambra State has described religious leaders as custodians of faith, values and tradition whose action and inaction are important before, during and after elections in the country.
The National Commissioner for Voter Education and Publicity of the Commission, Mr. Festus Okoye, stated this during the INEC interactive session with religious leaders towards successful 2019 general election held in Awka, the State Capital.
.Mr Okoye said the smart card readers would be used for the elections.
In a remark, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the State, Dr Nkwachukwu Orji observed that the highest voters’ turnout in the State since 1990 general election had been twenty three percent which the commission was determined to break now.
Two religious leaders, the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, the reverend John Ndubuisi and the Chairman of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in the State, Alhaji Sani Ejoh called on Nigerians to vote for credible candidates that would take the nation to greater heights.
The two leaders agreed that they would mobilize their subjects towards collecting their PVCs.
LAWRENCE NWOKEDI & KEVIN EKEDIEGWU