THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will cancel elections in wards with irregularities.
Prof Francis Ezeonu, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in IMO, said elections in areas where ballot boxes were seized or where voting was marred by any violence would be voided.
The electoral commissioner said this on Friday while carrying out sensitisation campaign in Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo.
He said INEC was prepared for free and fair elections devoid of violence and intimidation and urged stakeholders to cooperate with the commission to achieve this objective.
“INEC will not accept results in areas where ballot papers or boxes are carted away by hoodlums or any group or individuals. The election in that area will be cancelled.
“What INEC needs is cooperation from members of the community.
“If INEC does not receive the cooperation of people in the communities, things will not be okay. I advise politicians and stakeholders to play by the rules and play good politics,” he said.
Ezeonu reiterated the commitment of INEC to conduct credible polls in the forthcoming general elections.
He urged politicians to always ensure their followers enjoyed dividends of democracy to pave way for their re-election.
The electoral commissioner advised the people of Aboh Mbaise to ensure that all eligible voters in the area got their PVCs and went out and vote during the election.
He said election in Nigeria would no longer be business as usual, adding that INEC was tightening its ropes against all aspects of rigging.
Ezeonu promised that the state INEC would ensure that all eligible voters registered through the provision of more registration machines and re-visiting places where people were yet to be captured.
Earlier, Mr Clement Archibong, the Electoral Officer in Aboh Mbaise, said the commission had registered a total of 6,311 prospective voters since registration was taken to the electoral wards as ordered by the commission.
He, however, said that the local government had 2,820 uncollected permanent voters cards and called on stakeholders to carry the message to their various communities for the owners to come and take them.
Mrs Esther Emeruche, the Technical Committee Chairman of Aboh Mbaise, called on INEC to be an unbiased electoral umpire and should not be party to rigging by announcing results in violent areas.
Some stakeholders, which consisted of traditional rulers, representatives of political parties, youth, women and town union leaders, commended INEC in the state on the sensitisation and the assurance of credible elections.
They advised INEC against bringing in faulty registration and card reader machines for registration and for elections, saying that faulty machines were means of election rigging.
They also wanted INEC to revisit areas where people were yet to be captured to have more registered voters.
They called for continuous publicity and enlightenment on the voter registration exercise and collection of PVCs.
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Eze Emmanuel Mad, a traditional ruler in Aboh Mbaise, expressed gratitude to INEC in the state and urged it to fulfil all its promises as well as ensure it conducted credible elections come 2019.
Mr Mike Iheanetu, a member representing Aboh Mbaise State Constituency, advised the people of Aboh Mbaise against political and voter apathy.
He enjoined them to go out, register and obtain their PVCs, saying it is their power to vote and elect good leaders.