The United Progressive Party (UPP) Imo State chapter, has raised alarm over planned disenfranchisement of secondary school students in the 27 local government councils of the state, by agents of the state government, who compel them to register in the on-going voters’ registration exercise, whether or not they are upto 18 years.

According to reports, the voter’s cards are, thereafter, forcefully collected from them and kept for the manipulation of election results, come 2019.

According to a release dated 15th January 2019 and signed by the state publicity secretary, Comrade Ejike Ogbonna, the party said “the ruling APC government, now afraid of imminent defeat in the 2019 general election, has embarked on frantic and desperate panic measures aimed at manipulating figures to its advantage.

The release warns Imolites of the inherent dangers of allowing a government that has maliciously and callously impoverished the people by destroying their means of livelihood to perpetuate itself in power by installing a stooge that will keep the state and its people in a vicious circle of reckless looting and misappropriation of state funds, while the citizens suffer untold hardship. “Our great party therefore urges Imolites to resist these evil plans to disenfranchise their children and wards”.

The release describes claims by the Rochas Okorcha led Government that it has performed better than all previous administrations as false and predicated on self deceit and/or hallucination. “The nonpayment of salary and pension to civil servants and retirees is a deliberate ploy to unleash hunger, pain and agony on the people so that they will accept peanuts in exchange for their voters’ cards”.

The party advised those who have already fallen victim of the scam to shun intimidation, harassment or financial inducement and demand their cards back without delay or make their cases public to enable the UPP take it up with INEC during the voters verification exercises to ensure transparency. This the party said, is absolutely necessary because a stitch in time saves nine.   

The party also called on INEC to investigate the allegation as doing otherwise will portray it as a compromised umpire.