Over 100 National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members trained as Electoral Officers and Assistant Presiding Officers in three Local Government Areas of Imo State have withdrawn their participation in Saturday’s general elections.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Imo, Sylvia Agu disclosed this on Thursday in Owerri while speaking on the preparedness of the commission for Saturday’s election.
According to her, the corps members cited insecurity as their reason for withdrawal.
The REC said: “This morning, I received information that all the corps members we trained to work in Okigwe, Orlu and Orsu local government areas have been withdrawn.
“They say they cannot go to volatile areas that these areas are terrorist areas.
“I have called the NYSC to appeal to them but I was told that the scheme has even withdrawn all corps members serving in the three local government areas so as not to risk their lives,” Agu added.
The REC explained that the corps members withdrew their participation following the commission’s decision to revert to polling units as against the use of stadia in the volatile areas.
She said the commission had earlier faced security challenges in Okigwe, Orlu, Njaba, Orsu, Iheme/Mbano, Oru West and Oru East local government areas during the collection of the Permanent Voters’ Cards.
“Because of the problems, we had quite a low turn-out of Permanent Voter Cards collection in Okigwe axis and so, stakeholders in the area resolved to collapse five registration areas to Okigwe stadium.
“It worked well and was so impressive. They held another meeting and suggested that they come there to vote, but I asked them to put it in writing. I reported same to our headquarters.
“When Orlu heard what Okigwe did, they came to me but I told them to get back to their people and were equally asked to write officially which they did.
“They say they are collapsing six registration areas to the stadium in the area,” she noted.