By Chijindu Emeruwa, Abia.
The standard-bearer of the Labour Party for Umuahia East Constituency seat of the Abia State House of Assembly, Austin Okezie Meregini, has tasked the electorates with the extension of the deadline in the ongoing continuous registration of permanent voters cards ahead of the 2023 general election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Speaking on the backdrop of the recently resolved INEC to continue with the registration of Permanent Voters Cards being conducted nationwide, in an interview with newsmen in Umuahia, the state capital on Sunday, Meregini noted that the latest development by the nation’s electoral umpire would quell voters apathy and go towards consolidating and deepening the present democracy in the country.
Our correspondent recalls that the National Commissioner in charge of the Information and Voters Education Committee, Festus Okoye, on June 30th June 2022, stated that continuous Voter Registration will continue nationwide.
According to him, the Resident Electoral Commissioners and Electoral Officers have been directed to continue with the exercise pending further directives from the commission.
He partly, “the commission has consistently reiterated its resolve to continue to provide electoral services to the Nigerian people and register all eligible Nigerians that are interested in registering. The Commission has yet again deployed additional machines to areas of pressure and will continue to serve the people of Nigeria”.
Continuing, the LP State Assembly Flag-bearer, Okezie Meregini, while interacting with our reporter, noted that the provision of additional machines to various designated areas would enable all the eligible citizens in Abia state, to be registered, and those whose voters’ cards had lost, to revalidate theirs, as PVC remained the only power vested on the citizenry to decide their futures, and choose leaders with the visions and capacity, and as well as, well-defined developmental plans, for a better Abia and Umuahia east state constituency, come 2023.
He further noted that enough has not been achieved to give Umuahia east state constituency, the needed human, economic and Infrastructural facelifts to enhance the development of the areas, and also reiterated his desire and passion to rewrite the narrative of governance in the state constituency, through sponsor and making of meaningful and peoples-oriented bills and laws and also, through oversight functions, to attract the basic amenities, to encourage and facilitate social investment empowerment and development programs through interfacing with the relevant ministries, agencies and departments of the executive arm of government, and as well, the attraction of government’s attention on construction and rehabilitation work on dilapidated economic and Infrastructural projects in urban and rural areas in the Umuahia east constituency, to redouble the efforts of other genuine-minded people to improve the growths and development.
Merging further re-echoed the calls by major stakeholders in Nigeria’s electoral process, on prospective and qualified citizens of Umuahia east constituency to visit designated INEC units or points at their various electoral wards to register or revalidate for new permanent Voters Cards, to enable them to exercise their civic obligations by voting credible candidates, for productive and responsive leadership and representation at all levels of Abia state and the country at large.
He also used the medium to rally support and solicited bulk votes from the Abia electorates for the 2023 gubernatorial candidate of the Labour Party, Dr. Alex Otti, describing the ex-bank chief as a capable hand to address the myriads of challenges impeding the socio-economic and Infrastructural growths of the state, as urged citizens from the state to cast their votes to all LP candidates for purposeful leadership at every stratum of Abia state.
He also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to speed up the ongoing electoral process to ensure no eligible electorates in the state are left out in exercising their franchise in the forthcoming 2023 general election tilted toward deepening the present democracy in all sections of Nigeria federation.
“The electoral commission must ensure that the duration of the ongoing registration for Permanent Voters Cards is not riddled with sabotages, electrical hitches, shortage of Adhoc staff at registration units, and other logistical problems, because, every qualified Abians must not be denied rights to vote in the coming elections across the state. They should deploy all necessary logistics to ensure hitch-free and successful outcome before the end of the current exercise”, the Labour Party flag-bearer concluded.