The people of Delta State have joined in the nationwide laments over the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s inadequate Direct Data Capture (DDC) machines, incompetent ad-hoc staff and time-consuming finger print scanners for the ongoing voter registration exercise.
In Asaba, Delta State capital, series of complains have trailed the exercise as INEC ad-hoc National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) members clamour for better equipment while potential voters are requesting for more registration centres and workforce.
At Uzoigwe Primary School in Asaba, the INEC ad-hoc officials had problems with the scanners and printers, which takes more than 10 to 15 minutes to register an individual .Consequently, people complain against the concentration of over six DDC machines in one venue despite the opening of several schools for the exercise.”
The major problem we encounter here is that of thumb printing.
The scanner does not pick fingerprints on time and it has caused much delay, depending on the person’s finger. Some take up to 40 minutes to pick”, complained Juliet Orji, an ad-hoc worker.
According to Tony Young Ebifade, “Some of the shortcomings of the exercise are shortage of DDC machines, poor performance of the scanners, power packs and inadequate registration centres”.
At Okpanam, in Oshimili North Local Government Area, a politician, Mr. Friday Jebosa alleged that “despite the very impressive turn-out of prospective voters, only four persons were registered at Unit 4 between 07am and 12 noon when the DDC machine finally packed up. We waited till 05pm when they closed.
“INEC should urently release more DDC machines and personnel to Okpanam as a result of this exercise. As large as this community, INEC provided only two DDC machine which are quite inadequate”, he said.
The delay, according to dependable Government House source, has made it difficult for the state Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan to register and regain his franchise ahead of the forthcoming general election as Governorship flag-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
It had been the same thing in the three Warri Local Government Areas of Delta State (Warri Federal constituency), as eligible voters could not register following the delay in the commencement of the exercise in the areas.
At Koko, headquarters of Warri North Local Government Area, INEC officials and equipment did not show up, thereby causing worry among the people.
A resident in Koko complained that, “Warri North had 38,708 during the re-run election, Warri South (58,984) and Warri South West (56,458). Over 154,150 of our people are going to be disenfranchised if care is not taken”.
The Warri Federal Constituency’s representatives at the House of Representatives, Mr Daniel Reyenieju, said the delay in the commencement of the exercise in his constituency despite the large turn out by the people, has created fear among eligible voters over disenfranchisement ahead of the April, 2011 general elections.
”I am aghast as to why INEC has refused to effect commencement of voter’s registration in Warri Federal constituency. Could this be a ploy for an orchestrated end of ominous dimension against the prospective electorates of this constituency?” Reyenieju” questioned.
Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor, who led protesters numbering over 100 to the Warri INEC office, called on INEC to add additional three days extension to the three Warri councils to make up for the three days already lost.
Host Community Set To Resolve Chieftaincy Tussles
Otuasega community of Ogbia council area of Bayelsa State has said they were willing to resolve the protracted chieftaincy tussle bedeviling the community before August this year.
The Tide learnt this at the weekend by the community’s interim leader and CDC chairman, Mr Igbuasi Gbanibebi.
Igbuasi who also doubles as the chief security officer of the SPDC’s host community hinted that the community’s leadership has resolved to end all contentious court cases on who becomes the Paramount ruler of the community.
He regretted that the suits instituted by the contenders to the throne, owing to the 2018 disputed chieftaincy election of the community have impeded development.
“We’ve decided as a community to withdraw all the cases concerning our chieftaincy election from court.
Though our tenure as CDC and community leadership would end by August this year, we’re resolve to end all cases and install a paramount ruler before we leave office on or before August”, he said.
“We’re talking to the contenders to the throne, hopefully they’re are cooperating, but should they refused, we would ask all of them to stop drawing us backwards and use the old traditional means or ask the clergy in the community to fast and pray, and then tell us whom God has ordained as our Paramount ruler”, he added.
Igbuasi who also spoke on the prevailing peace in the community in the absent of a substantive monarch commended the joint task force, JTF, Police and the community’s own vigilante service for sustaining the peace in the area.
Diri Solicits S’Korea’s Partnership On Agric, Infrastructure Dev
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has sought the partnership and support of South Korea in areas of agricultural, maritime and infrastructure development of the state.
At a meeting with the South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Kim Young-Chae, in Abuja, Governor Diri said given its maritime similarity with Bayelsa State, the state also needed the South Korean expertise and partnership in developing deep-sea fishing, aquaculture and rice cultivation.
His Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, in a statement, quoted the governor as saying that the state was equally interested in partnership in education, science and technology as well as in oil and gas.
He said his administration pays serious attention to the issue of security as top priority and has conscientiously worked with the security agencies to make Bayelsa and its maritime domain safer than before.
“The purpose of this meeting is to explore areas of economic partnership and seek the expertise of South Korea in developing our state and its economy.
“Bayelsa has huge potential in agriculture and marine resources. We seek foreign investment in aquaculture and deep-sea fishing. Our terrain is good for aquaculture to thrive as well as rice cultivation and production with the large expanse of land already in Peremabiri and Sampou. We are trying to revive the culture of farming in our state. The government is interested in commercial farming as against the culture of subsistence farming that a lot of our people engage in”, he said.
“The South Korean expertise is also required in the production of plastics, in science and technology and the oil and gas sector. Our administration is taking deliberate steps to open up the state. This can be done through massive road construction and development of infrastructure, including how to control the perennial flooding in our state. We seek your partnership and expertise too in this area”, he added.
Governor Diri noted that such partnership would help in empowering youths of the state that would be given training in order to check youth restiveness and militancy.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
Anambra Guber Poll: Bayelsa Deputy Gov Predicts Victory For PDP
Ahead of the November 6 Governorship Election in Anambra State, the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, has said that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, would coast home to victory in the south-east state.
Ewhrudjakpo expressed the optimism at the state Party Secretariat in Awka shortly after leading a committee to conduct the election of local government delegates for the forthcoming PDP primaries in Anambra State.
A statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr Doubara Atasi, the Deputy Governor was quoted as, describing the exercise as smooth and successful, noting that 21 delegates were elected in the process.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo, who is the Chairman of the committee, disclosed that additional 21 physically challenged persons representing the 21 local government areas of the state were also chosen by members of the party.
While expressing delight at the show of unity and cooperation among the various stakeholders of the PDP in the state, he maintained that there were strong prospects, that the party has what it takes to win the November 6 election.
According to the Bayelsa Deputy Governor, the PDP delegates were elected in a peaceful, free and fair manner under the supervision of officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
He added that as a law abiding party, the PDP would soon conduct its primaries in accordance with the timeline provided by INEC and give whoever emerges as its flag bearer all the needed support with a view to winning the election.
He thanked the National chairman of the Party, Prince Uche Secondus, the Chairman, PDP Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Waziri Tambuwal and Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa state for giving him and members of the Committee the opportunity to serve the party.
“It has been a very successful programme. As you can see, there is no protest going on. Everywhere is peaceful and calm. So we have successfully completed the exercise, which was witnessed by INEC. Members of our party have freely elected 21 delegates of their choice and also 21 physically challenged persons to represent those who are going to participate in the primaries”, he said.
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