By Efa Sunday
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC, office in Cross River State on Monday announced that it will display the updated record of the National Register of Voters from Tuesday November 6, to Monday November 12, 2018.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Frankland Briyai told journalists in a briefing that: “This update is in accordance with section 19 and 20 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.”
The commission also mentioned that the 7-day exercise will hold in the various registration areas at the ward levels across the state, and will also feature the hearing of claims and objections.
Briyai said that the voters’ register will among other things; address the removal of the following ineligible voters; “deceased registered voters, Non Nigerians, registrants with stale pictures, underage voters and multiple registrations.”
The REC further said that the commission has, “approved the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) at the Registration Areas during the display of Register of Voters,” as against its initial Local Government Areas central collection offices.
He commended the effort of the press whose reportage he said, has helped in creating tremendous “awareness” in the public’s mind, as well as instigate a massive turnout of the people to register for their voter cards.
INEC had commenced the exercise in April 2017 but suspended the process in August 31st 2018 to make way for the revision, update, certification and publication of the final voter’s registration for the 2019 General Election.
On the rescheduled House of Assemble Bye-Election for the Ikom 2 State Constituency from November 10 to 17th, 2018, Briyai averred that: “Preparation is in top gear for the conduct of the election coming up on Saturday November 17, 2018.”
He called on all political parties contesting the bye-election to play to rules and avoid violence before, during and after the election.
In a related development, Briyai debunked claims that the commission has banned WhatsApp groups stressing that, “the INEC Chairman only called for caution in sharing official documents.”
Briyai disclosed this in an interview with CrossRiverWatch while reacting to a report by The Punch Newspapers that the national headquarters of INEC had sent letters to all its 37 RECs, informing them that it has stopped its officials from being members of WhatsApp groups.
The decision, according to the report was contained in a memo signed by the acting secretary of the commission, Mr. Okechukwu Ndeche with reference number PE: CE/1001/1/27.
The report claimed that in some of the groups, members complained of being shortchanged by their different bosses, hence the need to shut them out from sharing such on the social media platforms.
But, Briyai said that: “We all know that the world is now in its computer age, and there are many good hackers out there, so Professor Mahmood (INEC Chairman), only cautioned us from sharing the commission’s important files and documents on the social media, such as the WhatsApp platform, so as not to leak vital confidential secrets to the hands on the enemies.”
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