A coalition of women organisations under the auspices of STAGE for Women Development has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Anambra State of delay in rolling out machinery and programmes to ensure credibility of the Nov. 6 governorship election.
The group who protested at the office of electoral umpire, displayed placards with different inscriptions, ‘INEC, why the Delay in voter registration?’, ‘Early planning ensures free and fair election’, ‘INEC get started with voter Registration now’, ’75 per cent of women did not vote in 2017, Not Again!’, among others.
Addressing newsmen, the group’s spokesperson, Mrs Oge Ekweozor, said that INEC’S delay could negate the ploy for a free and fair gubernatorial election in the state.
She said, “It is the dream of all citizens that due processes are followed to ensure free and fair election and we have less than seven months to the election.
“Based on past experiences, it is unbelievable that INEC has not started the registration of voters and the sensitization of the citizens on their rights and responsibility through voter education.
“We do not want a repeat of what happened in 2017 guber election where a lot of challenges contributed to the disenfranchisement of a large number of women and youths.
“To put things right, Anambra women implore INEC to set up and start rolling out the machinery for a credible election, come Nov.6.”
Also speaking, Mrs Eucharia Adukwulu, South East Coordinator, STAGE for Women Development, said the protest was part of the group’s programmes to mark 2021 International Women’s Day.
She urged INEC to extend polling units to markets, parks, prisons and the interlands for adequate inclusion of women in electoral processes.
Responding, Head of Electoral Operations, INEC, Mr Innocent Ekulo, who spoke on behalf of the Resident Electoral Commission, thanked the protesting women for being civil.
He assured them that their concerns would be transmitted to the commission’s management while advising them to mobilise and galvanise women in the state to be involved in electoral process.