REPORTER: CHINAZO ILECHUKWU
Participants in a meeting held between the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and stakeholders in election in Imo State have appealed to the umpire to address issues of insecurity, late arrival of materials, and bottlenecks in collection of permanent voter cards (PVCs).
This is to enhance credibility in the November 11 governorship election in the state
Mr. Samuel Ozonna from the Civil Society Organisation called for more sensitization of citizens to enhance participation but e/claimed that despite efforts made by his group to mobilize eligible voters to collect their PVCs, some INEC personnel were not always at their duty post to distribute the cards.
The President Imo State council of Presidents-General, Mr. Chigozie Omuruka, commended INEC for the successes recorded in the last general election but called on the commission to ensure that only accredited agents of political parties were allowed access to result collation centres to avoid undue interference.
For his part, Mr. Stanley Igbo from Action Alliance stressed the need for adequate training of ad hoc staff to be engaged for the election.
He noted that in the last election some of the ad-hoc staff did not know what was being expected of them, suggesting they had no training or were not properly trained.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the State, Professor Sylvia Agu, explained that the meeting was to interface with political parties, civil society groups, security agents, town union bodies and the clergy on ways of ensuring a free fair and credible election.
She added that the commission had embarked on capacity building of its staff and taken measures to avert some of the hitches experienced during the last elections.
EDITED BY CHUKWUBUIKE MADU