THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is not likely to register all eligible voters in the coastal communities of the Niger Delta in the next six days. Going by National Mirror findings, this is a matter of serious concern for the coastal dwellers.
Some of the challenges observed by our correspondent in some of the coastal areas in Bayelsa State, President Goodluck Jonathan's home state, include delay and inadequate supply of Direct Data Capture (DDC) machines, lack of power supply, manpower because most of the INEC ad-hoc staff appear to be inexperienced on DDC machines, no backup devices and the deployment of two computer engineers to each state of the federation is considered inadequate.
And, in the Niger Delta where the topography is abit problematic, a concerned group, the Network of Freedom Fighters in the Niger Delta (NFFND) wants INEC to do something ''very radical'' in a bid to accommodate every eligible citizen in the coastal communities.
Co-ordinator of the group, Mr. Nengi James, told National Mirror at Nembe, ''we, the people living in the coastal areas of the Niger Delta, like those in the desert areas of the North should be given ver special attention during this extension period''.
James was speaking shortly after registering at Ward 2 in Nembe town in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
He, however, expressed worry over some challenges this newspaper has already observed in the coastal areas.
Like most cocerned citizens, he has appealed to INEC to urgently improve the situation of the Niger Delta coastal areas since according to him, ''the people of the area will never accept to be disenfranchised from the coming April, 2011 elections''.
In the mean time, the activist has asked all power seekers who have secured their party tickets for the April polls to stop campaigns of calumny and focus on issues that will alleviate the plight of the electorate.
He challenged flag-bearers of political parties to commence their campaigns to enable the electorate appreciate their manifestos, visions and projects that will better the lot of the people, pointing out that the era of deceit is over and warned that their emergence as flag-bearers after their party primaries was not an indication that they have been elected.
James, who is also a former acting President of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) requested that all those who won their parties' primaries should be made to declare their assets and engage in public debates for proper assessment.
He contended that the declaration of assets should not be misconstrued as a witch-hunting exercise but a genuine effort to ensure that these representing the people of the Niger Delta area deserve their mandate for the next four years.
He is of the opinion that issues-based campaigns will offer electorates the opportunity to understand the minds of those seeking elective positions and promote the growth of the nation’s economy for sustainable development.
'We will not subscribe to the emergence of politicians who do not understand their mission in the governance of the states in the Niger Delta region'', he said. ENDS