The Imo State Resident Electoral Commissioner Prof. Francis Ezeonu has expressed his worries over conduct of the 2023 elections in the state.
He said if nothing is done urgently to stop arson on INEC offices across the state, it will pose a great threat to the election in 2023.
Ezeonu, who disclosed this while briefing reporters in Owerri yesterday, said eight INEC offices in the state had been burnt in the past year.
He mentioned Njaba, Isu, Ehime Mbano, Mbaitoli, Orlu, Ezinihitte council areas as the commission’s offices that had been touched by arsonists while the offices at Ngor Okpalla and Isiala Mbano, he said, were completely razed down.
“This is a great threat to the 2023 elections in Imo State. But the commission is trying to overcome. As far as we don’t have further damage to our structures, we are sure to have the 2023 elections in Imo State,” he said.
He announced that the physical continuous voter registration exercise (CVR) will commence on July 19, 2021.
Ezeonu added that the exercise will start at INEC state and local government offices first and continue at other centres at a later date.
The REC said the commencement of the exercise was delayed as a result of the security challenges in the country.
He added that although the attacks on INEC offices across the country have stopped, the commission is still worried about the threats they could pose to registrants.
He further disclosed that scheduled appointments for online registration will start July 19, 2021.
According to him, the online portal was introduced to improve the operational strategy of the commission and reduce inconvenience on voters.
He disclosed that over 114,000 accounts have been created in the online registration portal with no fewer than 92,000 applications since it commenced on June 28.
The commissioner added that the portal was designed to precede the CVR to make new polling units available to voters.