The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will partner with the business community in Enugu state to ensure a hitch-free 2019 general elections in the state.
INEC’s Enugu Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Emeka Ononamadu, said this in Enugu on Sunday during INEC’s maiden meeting with stakeholders in the business community in the state.
Ononamadu noted that the business community has a high stake in elections, as outcomes of elections or governance affect businesses directly or indirectly.
“If there is any tension in the land during election as an outcome of irregularities and disagreements, the business community suffers the impact most.
“If it is in the reverse where there is credible election and good governance, the business community reap most of the dividends,’’ he said.
The REC noted that it was in the interest of INEC to expose and enlighten the business community on its roles to support INEC ensure a credible and smooth elections.
“For instance, the commission needed the business community in the area of transportation of its staff and materials on time on the D-Days of the election.
“We also need the business community to mobilize their members to register in the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) and collection of their Permanent Voters Cards.
“Also, for your members to conduct themselves in a professional manner, come out en mass to vote and not engaging in the recent negative trend of vote buying and vote selling,’’ he said.
Ononamdu noted that INEC had taken its advocacy and CVR registration to banks, markets, communities and other public places in the state to ensure it carried everybody along in the electoral process.
Responding, Mr Emeka Okereke, Director-General of Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), lauded INEC for being proactive and doing wider consultations ahead of the elections.
“I believe this wider consultation with various stakeholders will bear much fruit and make the electoral process and election more acceptable, credible and hitch-free, as each individual, group and stakeholder understand his role and play it faithful,’’ Okereke said.
The state Chairman of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Chief Matthew Asogwa, noted that the union had been partnering with INEC before now, adding that it managed the transportation arrangement of INEC in 2015 elections in the state.
“We have earlier mandated our members to register for CVR, collect their PVCs and ultimately ensure they vote on the D-Day.
“The NURTW is also inviting INEC to its meeting on Aug. 29; for the commission to use the avenue to enlighten our members the more and answer questions that are bothering them concerning the forthcoming elections,’’ Asogwa said.
Newsmen report that leaders of various market associations, unions and departmental stores in the state attended the meeting.