Accredited observers task INEC on alleged bias, compromise in Abia

A coalition of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Accredited Observers (IAO) has urged the polls umpire to debunk an allegation that it has been compromised to under-register the people of Abia State in the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).

IAO said at a press conference in Umuahia that, “INEC has failed to improve on the administrative shortfalls and challenges of regular breakdown of data capturing machines in the state.

The group listed the challenges and shortfalls to include restricting the registration to council headquarters, use of faulty machines, access to difficult terrain, lack of sensitisation and committed registration officers, among others.

IAO therefore, recommended the decentralisation of the registration exercise from the council headquarters, engaging committed civil society groups, political parties and other stakeholders on intensive sensitisation and mobilisation of legible persons for the exercise.

It also urged greater collaboration with security agencies to safeguard electoral materials and personnel to prevent the exercise from being hijacked by overzealous people and groups.

“INEC should also reconsider its stance on non Ad-hoc staff as it is becoming evident that permanent staff alone slows down the process while the number of registration machines should be increased to about two or more. The crowd is overwhelming while manpower and machines are few,” IOA added.

IAO, which addressed journalists through its team lead and secretary, Izuchukwu Ndubuisi and Kalu Victor commended the state government and the people for the “maintaining a relatively peaceful atmosphere in the face of the frustrations caused by INEC in the exercise.

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