PERCY ONYEJEKWE, Awka
Anambra State electorate have expressed worry over the November 18, 2017 governorship election in the state following alleged infiltration of voter cards collectors who are now going round the state collecting voter cards from eligible voters with monetary inducement ahead the election.
Sources allege that unidentified persons believed to be politicians approach them with money to collect their voter cards, copy the PIN and photocopy the cards.
It was alleged that the card collectors copy the code or PIN on the voter cards before returning them while others say that the collectors photo copy both sides of the cards before returning them with cash inducement.
The cash inducement was said to have been an enabler to growth of the card collecting and photocopying business which intention was to frustrate INEC’s effort at providing level playing grounds for all the political parties and to conduct a free fair poll.
It was learnt that the card collectors who are spread all over the state operate in the evening and lonely hours when they carry out the business secretly.
A source Mr. Johnson Chukwu said that an unidentified person called him on the phone yesterday begging him to allow his wife him (the caller) their voter cards. The source said he warned his wife against it.
“Imagine, I was driving to Awka yesterday, when someone called on the phone begging me to allow my wife give him our voter cards. I told him to give the phone to my wife. And he did. I then warned my wife seriously not to give anybody any voter cards”, Chukwu said looking worried.
Reacting over the development the State Chairman of the NDLP, Mazi Nkemjika said party members would be alerted adding that NDLP would report the matter to INEC for appropriate action.
“As far as NDLP is concerned, we condemn the act. We will call an emergency meeting to alert our party members. We will also report the matter to INEC for appropriate action. But should INEC fail to act we, will charge them to court”, Nkemjika said.
Reacting, PRP candidate for the November election, Dr Obiora Mbah called on the Federal Government to use its might to investigate the matter and bring the offenders to justice.
“It is a criminal offence. It is an affront to genuine democracy. I want the federal government to use the police, DSS to investigate the matter and bring the perpetrators to book. If it happens that this matter is not investigated, I will lose confidence in INEC”, Mbah fumed.
A major PDP chieftain and stakeholder, Hon. Tim Egboka who condemned the act absolved the PDP of involvement in the crime saying that PDP believed in genuine political business.
Egboka , popularly identified as Kpakpando Aguata, said that the PDP believed that INEC would conduct a free, fair election but urged the electoral body to ensure a credible poll. He urged Anambra people to shun anybody who might approach them to buy their voter cards.
“PDP is not involved in this. We cannot demean our party by steeping so low to collect voter cards from the electorate. We believe in genuine political business. I advise the electorate not to sell their voter cards and to report anybody who comes to them with the intention of buying their voter cards”, Egboka said.
However, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Anambra State, Nwachukwu Orji has allayed the fears that the November polls would be marred by hitches saying that every step had been taken to ensure that the November18, 2017 governorship election in Anambra is free, fair and credible. He said the voter cards had been customized up to the Poling Unit level.
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