- Assures Commission of Support
Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has assured the leadership of the National Electoral Commission (INEC) of the government’s preparedness to support them in their quest to serve Nigerians better.
The Governor gave the assurance on Wednesday when he received in audience the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Imo State, Prof. Francis C. Ezeonu and his team who were in Government House, Owerri on a courtesy call.
Governor Uzodimma who lauded the wisdom of INEC in creating new and additional polling units across the country ahead of the 2023 general election said the conversion of the former voting points to polling units was “a good decision INEC took.”
He thanked the INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood for what he described as “a wonderful job he is doing in Nigeria” and urged him to “remain resilient and focused.”
The Governor reiterated the willingness of his government to support the INEC ahead of the 2023 general election.
His words: “For us in Imo State, we will support INEC. Whatever you think we can do to make your job easy for you, don’t hesitate to tell us. The challenges you have in the course of discharging your duties, we will be part of the solution.”
To the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Governor Uzodimma said: “Count us as your partners, Mr. REC. You need to serve the country. Use your position to serve the country, please your conscience and God.”
He also encouraged Prof. Ezeonu to interact more often with the people he has come to serve and visit them as the need arises. “You cannot work alone. Don’t be disturbed by anything. When the time for election comes we will submit ourselves to our own rules. Do your business in Imo and see us as your partners,” the Governor told the REC.
Governor Uzodimma acknowledged that insecurity grossly affected the turn out for registration by Imo people who would be eligible to vote in 2023 and used the opportunity of the visit to encourage prospective voters from the State to come out en mass to register “now that the issue of insecurity has been contained.”
The Governor reminded Imo people and those who feel marginalized or poorly treated that the time to deal with the situation starts now as they turn out to register with the INEC. “It is our hope that we will brace up now and come out in our large numbers to register now that the situation of insecurity has improved.”
Earlier in his opening remarks, Prof. Ezeonu told the Governor that Imo State is trailing behind other States from the South East as regards the number of new registrants going by their data of January 10, 2022.
Though the REC also blamed the low turnout for registration on insecurity, he said there is still an opportunity for those who want to register to do so, either through the INEC registration centres in the Local Government Areas or the INEC voters’ enrolment devices.
He explained that the conversion of the former voting points to full polling units became necessary to ease congestion and to make more polling units available to the electorate.
Prof. Ezeonu solicited the help of the government in the area of sensitisation and Media campaigns for the INEC activities ahead of the elections slated for February 18, 2023, and March 4, 2023, respectively.
Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, the Chief of Staff, Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. COC Akaolisa and other key government functionaries joined Governor Uzodimma to receive the INEC team.