The Independent National Electoral Commission in Abia state has disclosed that the commission was targeting to register 2 million voters, saying that so far, 1.6 million persons have been registered in the exercise.
The state Resident Electoral commissioner, Dr. Joseph Iloh, who made the observation in Umuahia, the state capital, said the commission will begin distribution of permanent voters card to those who registered in 2017 from next week.
He called on traditional rulers, religious leaders and interest groups to take up the campaigns.
Dr. Iloh, also raised the alarm over early campaigns by politicians as against the electoral act and guidelines stipulating time for its commencement.
The REC warned that the commission would invoke necessary sanctions against defaulters if they don’t desist.
He said,”We want to use this medium to appeal to our politicians to do the needful, curtail their excesses, it appears the campaign is in full blast and that is against the law. The Electoral act specified period of campaigns but it appears politicians are beating the gun by moving ahead of time”.
“As an umpire, we need to call them to order. Bill boards, rallies, radio jungles are everywhere. It should be curtailed. The electoral act, article 99 specifies that campaigns should commence 90days to the election and stops 24 hours to the election day proper but what we have here is an abuse of the process”.
“We have over 200 days to election, but campaign is already in full swing for all the parties and we are calling on them to have a rethink.”