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THE much publicized October 5, 2013 date for the conduct of local government elections in Anambra State may no longer be feasible due to unresolved issues, a human rights group, the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, INTERSOCIETY, hinted in Awka.
Chairman of the group, Mr. Emeka Umeagbalasi, in a letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said that after a careful study of the timetable for the election, it was discovered that if the unresolved issues were not properly addressed, there would be no need to conduct the exercise because it would lack credibility and rubbish the integrity of both the INEC and the Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission, ANSIEC. Essentially,
INTERSOCIETY is worried about what it called the flawed voters’ register and the fact that ANSIEC has not been given the register up till now, which is less than 60 days to the election. It also noted that since the last review of the voters’ register took place in 2011, those who have attained the age of 18 years and are qualified since then to vote have not been registered.
The letter reads: “INEC, not ANSIEC, is legally and constitutionally entrusted with the round the clock midwifery of the national register of voters, including that of Anambra State, its local governments and wards versions. Also by law, no local government poll can be conducted without INEC’s voters’ register and on the same premise, ANSIEC is mandated to apply to INEC for the release of the Anambra State’s version of the register and INEC is also mandated to issue to ANSIEC an updated, revised and cleaned up certified true copy of the register.
“Our question is, has ANSIEC applied to INEC for the register? If yes, has it been given? If yes, which version was given to it? Has it been updated and revised with deletion or inclusion of the 93.000 “double registrants recently reported? What about those who lost their voter ‘cards or have their names omitted? And what of those who have not been registered?
“In view of the fact that INEC has fixed 17th of October, 2013 as a date for the publication of the integrated supplementary voters list and the voters
register for public scrutiny sequel to the November 16, 2013 governorship poll; how possible is it to use it to conduct the local government poll on 5th of October, 2013?
“Are there going to be two versions of the register; one updated, revised and cleaned up; and the other not? Is it possible to conduct legally, flawless, credible and participatory Anambra local government poll on 5th of October, 2013?”