The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday, reacted to the viral manipulation claims levelled against the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise in Omuma in the Oru East Local Government Area (LGA) of Imo state, tagged “Omuma Magic.”
INEC Says Viral Omuma Issue Has Been Resolved
The commission also countered the viral claim.
The rebuttal was made by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Prof. Sylvia Agu during a live appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
“The PVCs are being distributed in all the 27 local governments in Imo State. We have resolved the Omuma issue. It has been taken care of and we have cleaned up the records. We had to even do it manually for us to get the duplications, send them to Abuja, and then it has been cleaned. I don’t think it’s anybody’s fault; nobody did anything.
“It’s a machine error, which was cleaned. You would see some names appearing twice – duplications. I want to give you an example: some people that registered in 2011 came back and registered again so their names appeared twice, so we had to do it manually, forward it to the headquarters and then the headquarters cleaned up those names and then brought out a clean record.
“So, it wasn’t a deliberate act that anybody went and did that and people were accused. What we discovered is that these people registered twice and we had to do a clean-up,” she said.
Speaking on the allegations that voter figures tripled in Omuma, Agu said, “This is not true. It’s all over (Imo); it’s not only in Omuma. But it’s like they want to hype it. The way they are going about it is not how it looks. We had to go through our records – we had duplication of names. Even that ‘1904’ that people were talking about and went viral in the media is not true.”
The REC also denied claims of close ties with Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, saying she had set up boundaries to prevent any interference from political parties in particular.
“I’m not in any political party. I’m related to somebody does not depict that I am in any political party or that I am not going to be neutral. People that know my antecedents and know me know what I can do. INEC is prepared to conduct a free, fair, and credible election, a seamless exercise, and I have identified with that. I have nothing to do with the governor.
“Ever since I came – you can even ask those working with me – I know how I have been treating issues and I have told them that I don’t want to see any political party in my office discussing anything about the elections. That is why I said I don’t want to receive their gifts so I can be on neutral ground and do my work.
“I had a stakeholder meeting two days ago and they were there. Yesterday, 12 of them visited my office; I gave them an audience despite the fact that it wasn’t scheduled. But I had to give them an audience because they had a problem and they came to me, and I told them what to do – we have to follow the procedure,” she said.
In other news, Kanyi Daily reported that the army in India on Friday said sixteen (16) soldiers were killed in the country’s remote northeast when the military truck transporting them skidded down a steep mountain slope and crashed.