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MINISTER URGES INEC TO REPLACE DDC MACHINES IN OWERRI NORTH

By NBF News
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MINISTER of Interior, Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho, has appealed to the authorities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to replace the faulty Direct Data Capturing (DDC) machines deployed to the polling unit in Ezeogba, Town Hall, Emekuku, Owerri North Local Government of Imo State.

He made the appeal to both the INEC's supervising National Commissioner in charge of Enugu, Anambra and Imo States, Mrs. Gladys Nwafor and Imo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Selina Oko, at the Imo INEC headquarters, Port Harcourt Road, Owerri.

The minister regretted that it took him about 21 minutes to be captured by the machines, a situation he advised must be corrected without further delay.

Said he: 'It should not take more than five to seven minutes to be captured. If the situation is the same in Owerri North, they have to take off the machines. We don't want anyone to come to do us wayo. We cannot take it here. Report to them and say that the Honorable Minister of Interior said they should replace these equipment.'

Meanwhile, nine communities in Igboetiti Local Government of Enugu State have threatened to commit the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Dr. Josiah Uwazuruonye, to prison for his alleged refusal to obey a court order over the creation of polling wards in the area.

The communities, Ikolo, Ngalakpu/Diogbe, Ohebe, Onyohor, Idoha, Umunna, Umunko, Ochima and Udueme, which have since Saturday refused to partake in the ongoing voters' registration exercise until the anomalies were rectified, said they would commit Uwazuruonye to prison if he fails to carry out the court order.

When contacted, Uwazuruonye said he would not comment on the development until he is served with the prison commitment notice from the communities.

In Osun State, three persons have been arrested in Ife Central Local Council for stealing a DDC machine being used in the on-going voters' registration.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Solomon Olusegun, who confirmed the arrest of the suspects, said investigation on the matter was going on.

But after a sloppy beginning, registration of voters by INEC may have picked up in Osun State as the commission claimed its field officers have registered 170,000 people since the commencement of the exercise on Saturday.

The state REC, Ambassador Rufus Akeju, disclosed to The Guardian that the commission succeeded in registering 20,000 people on Saturday, 60,000 on Sunday and 90,000 on Monday.

He attributed the success to improved handling of the DDC machines by personnel recruited to work for the registration exercise.

Akeju attributed the initial problem faced by the commission to change in environment, which affected the machines imported from a temperate region to the tropical Nigerian environment.