INEC, Association Of Cross River Online Journalists Synergize For Better Voters Education

In Breaking News, Education, Politics

By Patrick Obia and Theresa Augustine

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Association of Cross River Online Journalists (ACROJ) have synergized for better voters education in the State.

The duo came to the understanding in a courtesy visit by ACROJ to INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Calabar.

Stating the reason for the visit to the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Emmanuel Alex Hart and his management team, the Chairman of ACROJ, Comrade Edem Darlington said as an association, there is need to collaborate with the Commissioner for a better voter’s education which will improve the turnout for the ongoing continues voter’s registrations exercise and elections.

Comrade Edem Darlington noted that as professionals whose core duty is to inform, educate and entertain the public, the visit will serve as a form of publicity for those who are yet to get their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) adding that, there is need to synergize with the electoral umpire.

Welcoming the ACROJ Chairman and his entourage, the INEC REC thanked the association for paying such a key visit adding that, it is timely and assured that his commission will work with ACROJ.
“We can’t say we can do without you because your role is very important. We are ready to work with you and your association,” the REC boss assured.

Cross River State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Emmanuel Alex Hart, assuring ACROJ of collaboration.

The Association of Cross River Online Journalists had embarked on monitoring of the ongoing Pre-Voter Registration (PVR) exercise in Calabar South, Calabar Municipality, Odukpani, Akpabuyo, Bakassi, Akamkpa, Yakurr and a host of other LGA’s and observed INEC staff and registrants are faced with some challenges. These limitations includes, vandalisation of various centres during the #EndSARS protest which have not been renovated as well as limited registration machines which some INEC staff who spoke the reporters during the inspection complained is not enough and network issues.

Reacting to the observations, Dr. Hart said INEC is aware of the centres vandalized and they have been earmarked for renovations as soon as the headquarters okays.

“The Commission is aware of the registration centers that were vandalised during the #EndSARS and they have been earmarked for renovations. We have written to Abuja to that effect but we have some provisions for temporary arrangement for registration; we don’t allow some impediments to deter us from performing our duties.”

Vandalised INEC office along Barracks road, Calabar Municipality.

According to the Commissioner, the nine (9) weeks since the Continuous Voter Registration commenced in Cross River and as at Monday 30 August, 2021, fifty five thousand, four hundred and fifteen (55, 415) pre registration applications have been received. This applications he said includes new registrants, replacement of PVCs and transfers, adding that “So far, a total of eleven thousand, eight hundred and eight (11,808) registrants have completed their registration (online and in- person) in the State.”

He disclosed that this quarter of registration which started on 28 June will end September 21, 2021 while display of the preliminary register for claims and objections is scheduled for 24 – 30 September, 2021.

The Commissioner implore ACROJ to help sensitise the public to register, get their PVC and vote during elections as it is the only tool to make a difference in the society.

In a closing remark, the Secretary of ACROJ, Comrade Archibong Jeremiah said, the collaboration will go along way recalling that, the association had been working closely with INEC.

He assured that ACROJ will continue to support through the power of the pen.

 

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