We’re Committed to Reducing Apathy – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Anambra State has reiterated its commitment to reducing apathy among voters in the forthcoming general election.

State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji, gave the assurance yesterday in Awka during an interactive session with religious leaders towards successful elections.

He regretted that voter apathy had continued to be a major challenge in the state, stressing that the process would only be truly democratic when voters participate fully in the exercise.

He expressed optimism of an improvement in the coming elections.

“Anambra has not exceeded 23% in terms of voter apathy since 1999. We are hopeful that the figure will get to 40% in the general elections,” he stated

Orji admitted that the apathy challenge might not be unconnected with the election boycott threat by certain groups as well as the impression of their votes not counting.

He said, “Our investigations in the last governorship election indicated that most of the transporters we engaged were either members of the group or their sympathisers.

“We could have run into trouble with them if not for our early preparations and the alternative arrangements we made.”

The commissioner, however, noted that INEC was not unmindful of the impact such threats would have on its operations, assuring that it was not leaving anything to chances towards nipping such cases in the bud.

Earlier, the INEC National commissioner and chairman, information and voter education committee, Bar. Festus Okoye, described the meeting as strategic in view of the considerable influence of the religious leaders and their institutions.

He enjoined them not to relent in their roles towards peaceful coexistence among the residents particularly during the electioneering period and the election proper.