By Jonathan Ugbal
Following the extension of the deadline for the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by two weeks and the attendant upsurge of Nigerians thronging registration centers, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Cross River State, Dr. Frankland Briyai has said the commission has developed measures to ensure everyone is captured in the country’s voters register.
The CVR was earlier scheduled to end on August 17, 2018 but INEC announced that it has been extended to August 31, 2018 with an upsurge of the number of residents trying to get registered recorded across the state.
And, Mr. Briyai in an interview with newsmen shortly after presenting the certificate of return to the winner of the August 11, 2018 house of assembly bye-election in Obudu, Mrs. Abbey Ukpukpen Friday in Calabar where he said he has been visiting the area offices.
“Since last month I have been personally be going round our area offices and we have upsurge in three places; Calabar Municipal, Calabar South and Obubra so we have dispatched more men and machines to those places,” Briyai said, adding that; “Besides that, from the first of August 2018 our work schedule has changed. For example, our staff goes to work by 9:00AM and close by 5:00 PM and they work through all the weekdays from Monday to Sunday including the public holidays.”
The REC who said the turnout is “fair,” averred that extending the deadline means, “there is more time for people to register. So definitely from what I have seen so far, in the next three days’ time, we should be able to almost capture everybody if all things been equal.”
On the number of those been registered, Briyai who said he had visited the area offices in Calabar South and Calabar Municipal local government areas where he “conducted the orderliness of the queues,” added that: “From my field experience, every day I am sure that we would have registered up to five hundred persons per day.”
He further added that: “And as at today (Thursday), by the time I was leaving for the office here, I had arranged about three to four hundred persons before leaving and we gave out forms up to about three hundred. We believe that they will return the form so each day averagely; we are registering up to about four to five hundred persons in the past three days.”
Earlier, Mr. Briyai, while presenting the certificate of return to Mrs. Ukpukpen had called on the stakeholders to, “continue to mobilise those who are yet to register to take advantage of the extension and register for their permanent voter cards. The commission on its part is doing everything possible to ensure that every eligible person who presents him or herself for registration will be captured in the nation’s voter register.”
In a related development, several non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations, peer as well as pressure groups have intensified efforts to sensitise the masses on the need to register and obtain their permanent voter cards.
Among these is the National Association of Seadogs also known as Pyrates Confraternity which has slate a street march to this effect for Saturday, March 18, 2018.
This was contained in several information handouts issued by the Calabar Municipal branch of the Jokaina deck of the association reports Lincornellah’s Blog.
About 100,000 permanent voters card are said to be uncollected in Cross River and the fliers issued by the association contained information that seeks to redress this anomaly and bequeath a better society for Nigeria.
Some of the information contained on the flier include; “Live a smart life. Drop your smartphones and pick up your voter’s card,” “Your voter’s card will make you spend less on call cards,” and “Your voter’s card will determine the worth of your ATM card.”
NB: The word “tackle” has been removed from the lede paragraph to correct a typographical error.
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