The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise in all the 54 additional centres in Imo State, South Eastern Nigeria.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye disclosed this Friday in a press statement, personally signed by him.
The sudden decision, Okoye indicated, followed the killing Thursday, of the Commission’s staff by suspected gunmen in Ihitte Uboma local government area of the State.
The exercise which is aimed to facilitate the registration of voters across the State, INEC Commissioner confirmed would now be confined to Imo State and Local Government Area offices except in Orsu, Njaba and Ihitte Uboma where it is suspended indefinitely.
Okoye affirmed: “This decision follows a further report from the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Francis C. Ezeonu, of threats to our staff involved in the exercise in Ehime Mbano Local Government Area. Earlier, the Commission had restricted the exercise to our offices in Oru East, Oru West, Orlu and Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Areas.
Meanwhile, the Commission has now established contact with two of its staff missing after Thursday attack in Ihitte Uboma, affirming that they are safe and would soon be reunited with their families.
“The safety of staff remains a primary concern to the Commission. We will continue to ensure that no staff is put in harm’s way while working with the security agencies and community leaders to protect them and facilitate their work” INEC reassured..