Protest as group alleges plot by INEC to disenfranchise 20m Igbo voters

Protest as group alleges plot by INEC to disenfranchise 20m Igbo voters

- A group, Odinala Cultural Heritage Foundation, has cried out over what it called plan by INEC to disenfranchise 20 million Igbo voters

- The group claimed that it observed alleged manipulation in the PVCs distributed by the commission

- According to the group, all attempt to make INEC react to its inquiry on the development was ignored

With days to left to the general election, an Igbo group, Odinala Cultural Heritage Foundation, has staged a protest against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over what it described as an attempt by the commission to disenfranchise some voters.

Speaking on Wednesday, February 13, in Owerri, the group's national president, Chukwuma Orji, accused INEC of plotting disenfranchisement on over 20 million Igbo voters in the southeast region by denying them Permanent Voters Card (PVCs), Vanguard reports.

The group also claimed that it observed alleged manipulation in the figure of PVCs released by the commission, threatening to put the poll in the state to a halt since INEC failed to explain the fact behind the voters' figure.

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The group said: "The commission under, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, is a cesspool of corruption. Despite all the billions approved for INEC, the commission is yet to print PVC belonging to registered voters.

“It is quite ironical that the commission practically relocated its registration and PVC collection activities to the Internally Displaced Person’s (IDP) camp, but couldn’t replicate such gesture in the southeast.

“The commission should have set up pragmatic plans on how to harness registrants of Igbo extraction during Christmas since 2017. Because Ndigbo see the yuletide as a for reunion. An unbiased Commission would have set up these plans since December, 2017.

"They never did. By December 2018, they hurriedly set up very skeletal platform in southeast to fulfil all righteousness. Immediately the registration exercise began, the commission sent highly malfunctioning registration machines to Southeast. But, for the intervention of some vibrant Igbo organs the trick would have seen the light of day."

The group, which claimed it had written INEC for explanation, also accused the commission of deliberately denying over 20 million Ndigbo the right to vote.

It said: "As at today, the commission has succeeded in endorsing the wild assumption, by agents of the establishment that the southeast is land locked and lacks votes to make a political statement.

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"They did not stop there, they have invented and invested in technical disenfranchisement of eligible voters in southeast.

“What is at risk is about 20 million votes belonging to southeast. The commission through some amorphous institutional technicalities has deliberately buried 20 million votes belonging to Ndigbo."

Meanwhile, previously reported that a southeast socio-cultural group, Imeobi Igbo Forum, has called on residents of the region to ignore the order given by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to boycott the forthcoming election and demand for referendum.

The forum's national chairman, Chief Mike Ikeguru-Onugha, said Kanu's order to boycott the election will not benefit the region.

Ikeguru-Onugha urged residents to go out en masse and vote for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)'s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and his running mate, Peter Obi. ( -> We have upgraded to serve you better.

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