Ibeku East Voters, (020) Threaten To Boycott Election Over Shortage Of Ballot Papers
By Charity Uwakwe
As Nigerians across the country bustle with the Governorship and House of Assembly elections, voters at Ama Mbara Nkata Ibeku,
Unit 020, Ibeku East Ward (1), in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State, have unanimously threatened to boycott the exercise in their unit, alleging that the Unit has shortage of ballot papers.
According to the community leaders, the polling unit was allocated only 170 ballot papers each for Guber and House of Assembly elections instead of the supposed 200.
Addressing newsmen, the community’s Chairman and the youth leader, Hon Silas Ihemeremadu and Mr Hilary Ochiabuto, respectively, explained that they had agreed to boycott elections in their area unless the ballot papers are completed by INEC.
Hon Ihemeremadu lamented that the shortage of the ballot papers was capable of setting his community ablaze, hence their decision to boycott voting until the ballot papers are completed.
” There are 176 registered voters in this unit and we are supposed to have receive 200 papers for Governorship and 200 for House of Assembly. The papers are shorting 30 in the Governorship. and House of Assembly”, said Hon Ihemeremadu.
Some villagers who spoke to Journalists alleged that the missing papers may be used for rigging by some political parties.
The INEC SPO in charge of Unit 020 Ibeku East Ward (1), Simon Favour confirmed that his team came with 170 ballot papers for guber and House of Assembly elections.
He said the reduction in number of ballot papers was a careful system deployed by INEC to avoid wasting of materials.
” There are 176 registered voters here and you know some people may not even come out to vote so that is the reason we came with 170 ballot papers each for Governorship and House of Assembly.”
He pleaded with the voters to change their minds and cast their votes.
As at the time of leaving the the venue, the villagers insisted that no election would take place in their area unless the election umpires, INEC did the needful.