The mass voter registration exercise commenced on October 4 this year country wide but the Boni people had not started participating in the exercise after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissioner (IEBC) failed to ferry the voter registration materials to the area for fear of insecurity.
For a whole week, the voter registration kits have been lying at the Faza IEBC office.
Speaking to Opera News Hub on Sunday however, Lamu County IEBC Election Manager Mohamed Adan confirmed that the commission had managed to ferry the registration kits to Boni forest after securing services of boda boda operators.
The materials were ferried to Milimani Village using panya routes inside the dense Boni forest.
Mr Adan said by yesterday, locals in Boni forest had started participating in the exercise which is being undertaken for 30 days.
Boni forest area is sparsely populated and only 150 new registered voters are targeted.
“We started mass voter registration exercise in most of our Lamu r centres exactly on October 4. The challenge was in Boni forest. The area has had challenges of insecurity caused by Al-Shabaab terrorists. That’s why we delayed in ferrying voter registration materials until we got advice from the security. I want to confirm that the Bonis at Milimani have already kicked off the voter registration exercise,” said Mr Adan.
The Election Manager reiterated that three voter registration kits are in Basuba Ward and that they will be rotated in the various villages, beginning with Milimani within the 30-day period until the targeted number of new voters is reached.
Basuba Ward in Boni forest have five key villages which include Basuba, Milimani, Mangai, Mararani and Kiangwe.
The villages are currently under intense military surveillance in the ongoing Operation Amani Boni (OAB) which is meant to flush out Al-Shabaab militants said to be hiding within the vast Boni forest.
Mr Adan assured citizens in Boni forest that all shall be reached for registration before the period ends.
Basuba Ward MCA Deko Barissa thanked the electoral commission for the efforts in ensuring Boni people are reached for registration.
Mr Barissa appealed to citizens in the area to take advantage of the exercise by ensuring they turn out in large numbers and get registered as new voters.
“We are already a minority community. So, I urge all of us, particularly the youth to ensure they register as voters to enable us have a say when electing leaders in the country,” said Mr Barissa.
The IEBC is targeting to register at least 15,910 new voters across Lamu County by the end of the 30-day period.
So far more than 200 new voters had already been registered in Lamu West while at least 100 new voters had been registered in Lamu East within the one-week period that has passed.
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