Less than 30 days to the commencement of the general elections in Nigeria, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has frowned at the absence of a Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Delta state, warning that the people of the state would not accept any ad-hoc situation that will truncate credible elections.
Chairman of the NUJ, Delta state council, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu, sounded the warning when the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), Delta state chapter, led by the state coordinator, Mr. Raymond Omorodion, paid the council a courtesy visit on Thursday in Asaba.
Comrade Ikeogwu noted that it was very unfortunate for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be treating the issue of no REC in the state and a substantive administrative secretary with the seriousness they deserve and called for an immediate deployment of the officers to the state.
He bemoaned the lack of visible activities in the INEC office in the state few weeks to the presidential and national assembly elections, saying some of the pre-election activities such as voter education, distribution of permanent voters’ cards (PVCs), and relocation of unit/ward venues without adequate awareness creation are capable of causing low participation of eligible voters in the electoral process.
“We understand training is going on in other states and at the national level of INEC for critical stakeholders but no one has said anything here in Delta state” Comrade Ikeogwu noted, adding, “We are aware about 400,000 PVCs have not been collected and INEC is not bothered and reports reaching us indicate that people who made effort to collect their PVCs could not do so because the INEC ad-hoc staff are nowhere to be found.”
The chairman reiterated the need for INEC in the state to put in place without delay the necessary arrangements to foster free, fair and transparent processes to bring about credible and acceptable elections in Delta state.