Enugu – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu State has threatened to sue the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for cancelling voters register in the state ahead of the forthcoming registration.
INEC announced last Tuesday during a stakeholders meeting in the state that voters register in 621 polling units of the 2,945 units in the state were erased from its data bank.
INEC disclosed that five local government areas, Enugu East, Igboetiti, Igboeze North, Nkanu West and Nsukka, were worst hit in the cancellation.
Briefing journalists in Enugu on Friday, the state Chairman of the party, Chief Vita Abba described the act as “unacceptable and a ploy to disenfranchise the electorate in the state.
“How can the data of 40 per cent of the people in the state be erased? This is a deliberate action to change the political system and zoning arrangement in the state.
“The Enugu North Senatorial Zone which was expected to produce the next governor in the state is the worse hit.
“Out of the 280 polling units in Nsukka local government, the voters’ register in 230 units are no longer in existence.
“It is also the same in Igboetiti with 190 units missing, Nkanu West, 148 and Igboeze North, 25 units affected.
“I am also affected; the Speaker of the state assembly, some serving and former senators as well as ministers from the zone were affected.
“Enugu State PDP will do everything possible and even sue Prof. Jega and INEC to ensure that the people are not disenfranchised,’’ he said.
Abba pointed out that INEC should have a back up of the data adding that the same register was used in conducting the 2013 local government elections in the state.
The chairman noted that most of the states affected including Benue, Abia and Akwa Ibom were core supporters of President Goodluck Jonathan.
He also protested that the time frame for the distribution of permanent voters cards scheduled for between May 23 and 25 was too short.
Abba also said that it was the same situation for the continuous voter registration holding between May 28 and June 1.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state also protested against the issue and urged INEC to address it urgently.
The APC Chairman in the state, Dr Ben Nwoye called for an extension of time for the conduct of the distribution and continuous voter registration to accommodate more eligible voters.
Azubuike appealed to political parties in the state to remain calm as fresh registration would be conducted in the affected areas.
Reacting to the development, the Resident Electoral Commisioner (REC) in the state, Dr Lawrence Azubuike, told NAN that the problem was not deliberate rather it was due to human and machine errors.
On the time frame for the exercises, the REC said that all facilities had been put in place to ensure a hitch-free registration.
He urged the political parties, religious and traditional leaders as well as the civil society organisations to massively mobilise the people to participate in the exercises. (NAN)