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Enugu INEC solicits supports of monarchs



INDEPENDENT National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Enugu State, has once more requested for the support of traditional rulers in all the autonomous communities in the 17 local government areas of the state to be able to conduct free, fair, credible and acceptable polls during the coming general elections.
The appeal was made by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (RELC), in the state, Emeka Ononamadu, during an interactive session with Enugu State Traditional Rulers and stakeholders last week in Enugu State.
Mr. Ononamadu, who said that the meeting was his fifth official state level engagements with the traditional gate-keepers of all the autonomous communities, stated that the aim was to provide update on the state of preparedness of INEC for the February 16th Presidential and National Assembly elections and March 2nd Gubernatorial and state Assembly elections.
He stated further that INEC had also engaged with traditional rulers in each of the three senatorial zones in the state while cascading the update of state of preparedness for the 2019 general elections.
The REC commended the traditional rulers for their unflinching and unwavering supports during the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise and charged them to do more during the on going collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and the elections proper.
“INEC is therefore expecting bigger support and cooperation towards organizing the most credible election that Enugu State has never experienced”.
He charged the traditional fathers to do everything within their power to discourage their subjects from engaging in electoral malpractices like vote trading, thurggery among others, stressing that such practices will undermine the efforts of INEC and other stakeholders towards organizing credible elections.
Giving further updates on the commission’s readiness to achieve the goal of organising credible elections, he  said,  “The total number of registered voters in Enugu State stand at 1, 942,776. With this development, there will be 4, 146, voting locations made up of 2,958 polling units and 1,188 voting points.
“To conduct 2019 general election in Enugu, we already have 4,190 enhanced Smartcard Readers which shows a balance of 44 extra smartcard readers as part of the backups. We projected a back up of 30% of total required smartcard readers since in the recent times and after the enhancement of the smartcard readers, INEC has never experienced up to 5% smartcard reader challenge during any of the off session elections after 2015. We expect to take delivery of more back up card readers before the end of January.
According to Ononamadu, total number of voter cards collected stand at 1,559,495 while a total of 383, 281 cards are yet to be collected. He urged those who are yet to collect theirs to do so, promising that INEC will open collection centre in all the 260 registration areas.
On the issue of adequate man power for the polls, the INEC boss declared, “since there will be 4,146 voting locations out of the 2,950 polling units, INEC Enugu requires a total of 18,000 ad-hoc staff for the 2019 elections made up of 16,438 and 1,562 back up to ensure that INEC does not in any way allow an untrained ad-hoc staff to take part in the conduct of the elections in Enugu. “
Concerning security, “we are currently meeting and discussing with the police and other government security agencies in Enugu for the provision of 10,342 security personnel required for the elections in Enugu State.
“The Inter Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, which is made up of all security agencies are working out the selection and training modalities. While the training will be concluded in the next two weeks, the deployment is expected to be concluded in the first week of February”, he concluded.
Governor of Enugu State Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi was represented by his deputy,  Mrs. Cecelia Ezeilo during the meeting

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