By Efa Sunday
The Cross River State Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) has hosted a one day interactive session with leaders of religious groups across the State Thursday in Calabar.
The meeting took place at the Mike Igini Conference Hall, Murtala Muhammad Highway, Calabar.
The State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Frankland Briyai stated that the purpose of the meeting is to keep the different religious groups abreast of the latest development and readiness of the Commission towards the forthcoming election.
Earlier this week, INEC had held same interactive session with traditional rulers, where the Commissioner enjoined the Monarchs not to be partisan.
Dr. Briyai said while addressing the issue of security, that the Commission is taking the necessary steps to curtail any security issues that may likely arise, while also saying that “the Commission is training one hundred men each from all security forces across the State,” this he said is to make sure that no issue of malpractices is recorded all through the process of the general election.
He also added that, “We have finished repairing and fixing all the vehicles that will be used for logistics during the election, and they will all be ready for use.
“We have also started receiving non-sensitive materials such as generator and ballot boxes from the Headquarter office in Abuja, which we have distributed to the various Local Government Areas.
“As we all know that sensitive materials come from INEC in Abuja, but they have told us that the materials are on ground and ready to be dispatched in two days before the election.”
Mr. Frankland also admonished both groups to sensitize their members to go pick up their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in their respective wards.
However, while responding to the question raised by the representative of the Chief Imam in Cross River State, Imam Kabir Olowolayemo, asking what INEC will do to help make sure that people with misplaced Temporary Voter Cards can pick up their PVCs.
The REC answered saying “All groups represented here and have cases in their various worship centres of misplaced TVCs should write down all the members names on a paper and bring it, based on the spiritual position you hold, we will attend to all of them.”
Going forward, the Commissioner also mentioned that “the remaining two hundred and nine thousand, seven hundred and twenty-one (209,721) PVCs left uncollected have all been sent to the various ward levels for pick up.”
The meeting was attended by the representative of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend James Asuquo, the representative of the Chief Imam of Cross River State, Imam Kabir Olowolayemo, Representative of the Organisation of African Instituted Churches, (OAIC) Apostle David Ugwubujoh and a host of other religious leaders.