INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Imo State, Professor Chukwuemeka Ezeonu made this known in a forum organized for media professionals in Owerri.
He said the Commission had drawn lessons from the experiences of the November 18 Governorship election in Anambra State especially in the areas of logistics, use of card readers, recruitment and training of ad hoc electoral staff.
Professor Ezeonu attributed the low turn-out experienced in the ongoing continuous voter registration in Imo State to loss of confidence in electoral process in the area but noted that the Commission was working hard to disabuse the minds of the people.
“The mere fact we had some failures is not a sufficient reason to throw away the card reader. These are challenges that go on with technology but the truth is that we are perfecting on the technology; it’s not that people are not aware of what INEC is doing like the on-going registration but there is too much apathy drawing from the fact that over time people have lost confidence in the entire polity,” he said.
A member of a Civil Society organization that monitored the November 18 governorship election in Anambra State, Dr. Jude Ohanele, called for early preparation by INEC to ensure more credible elections in 2019.
“How can we improve as we prepare for the 2019 election in Imo State? So this was an opportunity for the Resident Electoral Commissioner to interface with these media personnel and come to some understanding on areas that we need to work on.
“We also call on INEC to make sure that the collation process is improved on: let it be an improvement on what we saw in Anambra.”
Dr. Ohanele underscored the vital role of the media in improving the nation’s electoral process.
The essence of the forum was to build synergy between INEC and the media to avoid the repeat of mistakes often experienced during elections in the South east.