The Independent National Electoral Commission ‘INEC’, on Friday, April 15, announced the suspension of the Continuous Voter Registration in centres across Imo State.This is coming barely 15 hours after a similar action was taken in the Ihitte Uboma Local Government Area following a report by its Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof Emeka Ezeonu, on the killing of an INEC official, Anthony Nwokorie, who was involved in the CVR.
Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Information and Voter Education Committee Chairman, made the announcement in a statement issued in Abuja.“Further to the unfortunate incident in Imo State in which our staff was killed by gunmen in the Ihitte Uboma Local Government Area yesterday (Thursday), the commission has decided to suspend the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration in all the 54 additional centres created to facilitate the registration of voters across the state. He said“The exercise will now be confined to our State and Local Government Area offices except in Orsu, Njaba and Ihitte Uboma where it is suspended indefinitely.“This decision follows a further report from the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof Francis Ezeonu, of threats to our staff involved in the exercise in the Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of the state.“Earlier, the commission had restricted the exercise to our offices in the Oru East, Oru West, Orlu and Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Areas.“Meanwhile, the commission has now established contact with two of our staff missing after yesterday (Thursday’s) attack in Ihitte Uboma.“They are safe and will soon be reunited with their families.
The safety of staff remains a primary concern to the commission. We will continue to ensure that no staff is put in harm’s way while working with the security agencies and community leaders to protect them and facilitate their work.”