The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has sought greater collaboration with journalists and media executives in its quest to organise credible and a hitch -free elections in Ekiti.
The electoral body also hinted that it had detected 47,633 voter double registration on its portal ahead of the poll.
Top INEC officials made these known in Ado-Ekiti at the Traning/ Capacity Building For Journalists/ Media Executives On Constitutional and Legal Issues On Electoral Act 2022.
The commission said that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible to outsmart the new technology being deployed as it captures both finger prints and facial impression of eligible voters.
The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, disclosed that Ekiti has 988,923 registered voters ,out of which 734,746 persons have collected their Permanent Voters Card for the election.
Okoye, added that part of the constitutional frameworks designed for the success of any election, is freedom of press, warning that this shouldn’t be abused to prevent violence during election.
“Before a journalist can monitor election in any state, he must have good knowledge of the social, political, economic, and geographical composition of that environment.
“ He must also understand the security situation, because all these differ from state to state.
“They must also have a deep knowledge of the laws guiding the conduct of elections. They must know what laws permit regarding the information you dish out. Media personnel are not permitted to give out information that can mislead the populace and ignite violence on the day of election. They have to be accurate .
“In this election, we appeal to you to be neutral, non-partisan, ethical and professional in the discharge of your duties, so that we can record success together and conduct election that can be acceptable to all”, he said.
Okoye further added that the non-sensitive materials for the elections have been deployed to all the 16 LGAs noting that adhoc staff have been mobilised and trained.
“The commission on the election day will deploy the adhoc staff from a total of 104 registration centres, made up of 46 registration areas centres and 61 super registration area centres.
“The commission will also deploy 22,244 polling units in Ekiti State and will deploy slightly above 10,000 adhoc staff to conduct this election.
“I want to announce that the commission is happy and elated at the level of preparations for this election.
“All the 16 LGAs have received the full complement of all the non-sensitive materials. They have dispatched all the non-sensitive materials in accordance with all the registration areas and wards and in accordance with all the polling units.”
The Commission averred that such people have had their registration invalidated to prevent double voting during election, with the aid of the Bimodal Voter Authentication System(BVAS) invented by INEC to sanitise its registers.
In his presentation, the INEC’s Head of Department, Information and Communication Technology, Titilayo Oderinde said no individual can exercise double franchise during election with the help of the ICT innovation.
He said : “During the just concluded Continuous Voter Registration exercise declared by INEC for intending voters to update their registration, a total of 124,963 persons registered in Ekiti.
“But it will marvel you that when the number was subjected to BVAS scrutiny, a total of 47,633 were discovered to have registered twice and got expunged from the register.
“Though, the commission was so lenient that one of the double registrations was struck out leaving one for the voter to exercise his franchise. It is not applicable to a gender, the offence was committed by both genders.
“But I see no reason why people should be doing this when they can approach the commission for migration of their polling units, even if they leave their environment for another location”.
Also addressing the participants, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ekiti State, Dr. Adeniran Tella, appealed to voters not to treat their Permanent Voter Cards(PVCs) as instruments for mere identification, saying they are to be deployed to vote on election day.
“PVCs is not designed as identification card, it is for voting. We want to do away with this voter apathy and we are starting with Ekiti election. I salute our women for participating well in registration. 71% of them had also collected their PVCs.
“We are assuring the People Living with Disabilities that their interests will be protected by the commission. They are Nigerians with inalienable rights to vote and we shall provide enabling environment for them to vote in this election, we have made adequate provision for them”.
2023: Vote Out APC, PDP Youth Leader Urges Nigerian Youths
The National Youth Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Muhammad Suleiman, has enjoined Nigerians, especially youths to troop out, collect their Permanent Voters Cards and vote out the All Progressives Congress which he said has brought nothing but misery to citizens.
Suleiman made the appeal at a media briefing ahead of the PDP PVC collection sensitization road show, scheduled to commence in Abuja, on Tuesday.
He said, “Indeed, we can no longer deny or pretend that we are now at the start of the lowest point in our national life.
“The youth of our country have become weary of the future. It is on this note that we call on all Nigerians to go out and get their PVC because this is the only tool to unseat them, these monsters are the corridors of power.
“The rate of insecurity is alarming and calls for urgent national attention. Ladies and gentlemen, the Nigerian students have been out of school for over five months, with no solution in sight.
“The APC led federal government has paid deaf ear to the plight of the Nigerian students, thereby forcing them to roam about the street and become vulnerable to negative tendencies.
“It is therefore imperative for the Nigerian youth to go out and get their permanent voters card in order to use their vote to unseat the wicked APC led federal government. “
The youth leader further said, “The persistent insecurity that has plagued the nation now for a while with no solution in sight is another manifestation of the complete incompetence and abandonment of government by the All Progressive Congress-led federal government.
“We call on all well meaning Nigerians to take up their destinies in their hands and activate the office of the citizen by going all out to get their permanent voters cards.”
He assured Nigerians that the PDP on its part was prepared to give Nigerians quality leadership at all levels when given the chance.
Also speaking during the event, the PDP National Woman Leader, Prof. Stella Effah-Attoe, urged Nigerians especially women to collect their PVCs.
She said, “Your PVC is your power to determine your future and the destinies of your family members.
“Take it seriously and use it wisely. No one will use his own hands to destroy himself. It is not enough to register.
“Please ensure that you physically collect your PVCs. On Collection of your PVCs, it is not enough to dump them in your drawers and wardrobes, ensure that you make effective use of the PVCs by coming out en mass to vote in the forthcoming General Elections in 2023”.
Acting National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Umar Damagun, in his remarks, said the PDP was now more than ever before resolute in its determination to provide leadership for Nigerians to rescue the nation from the precipice which the APC has led it to over the last seven years.
C’River PDP Guber Candidate Unveils Ex-TV Broadcaster As Running Mate
The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Cross River state, Sen. Sandy Onor has unveiled ex-Channels ace broadcaster, Emana Duke Ambrose-Amawhe as deputy governorship candidate for the 2023 elections.
The Tide source gathered that there has been internal squabble on the selection of a deputy governorship candidate but her unveiling has put all that to rest as the party can now forge ahead in unity with its quest to take over leadership of the state in the 2023 general election.
Speaking during the unveiling at the PDP Secretariat, Mary Slessor Rd, Calabar, Monday, Sandy said in the quest for a deputy governorship candidate they consulted stakeholders widely in a bid to ensure that everyone was carried along and on board with the decision to pick Emana as running mate.
He said that there were no 100 per cent decisions in politics adding that everyone would sooner or later accept the choice they have made because of the painstaking consultation they embarked on.
His words: “When you make up your mind to lead it means you are ready to serve, leadership is service. The decision to pick Emana was a “double-barrel proposition” considering her youthfulness and gender.
“In taking the decision, there was no segment of the party that was not reached; men, women, youths, leaders, elders amongst others.
“We came to the conclusion that there is need to brighten up and strengthen our ticket. If you are a politician, you will know that you can’t mobilise without women.
“Since the time of Cecelia Ekpeyong as deputy governor, we have not been carrying the women along again. So, we came to the conclusion that we need to carry our women along again.
“To simply put it, all the men who available for the position were adequately qualified but we thought that we should not be selfish. Women cannot just be chair leaders all the time, they need to be given a pride of place.
“We needed a double-barrel proposition, a woman that can appeal to the youths, a mother, visionary and a deep intellect who will be determined to work to change Cross River for good and take the state to where it ought to be.
“We find all these qualities in Ambrose-Amawhe. She has momentum, vision, resilience, integrity and character. She is a woman of double-barrel proposition,” Onor said.
In her acceptance speech, Emana described her nomination as victory for every hard-working woman, stating that she was ready to go on the journey with her principal to rescue the State from lack of governance.
“Women must be resilient and never give up on their dreams, the ticket does not belong to me, it is yours, it belongs to the people who have only given it to me to hold in trust for them.
“Let us keep aside our misgivings, and take back our dear state, Sen Sandy Onor and myself cannot do it alone, we need your support, we need you to achieve a new Cross River of our dreams,” she stated.
Osun PDP Alleges Police-Assisted Harassment By APC
The Osun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress of using the police to harass its members.
A press statement signed by the Caretaker Chairman of the party, Dr. Akindele Adekunle, said members of the party in Ijebu-Jesa and Eti Oni in Oriade and Atakumosa East Local Government Areas respectively were victims of the APC harassment.
According to him, police being supervised by a member of the state cabinet, forcefully arrested PDP members and inflicted on them bodily harm, even without any warrant of arrest to justify such cause of action.
The statement read in parts, “Reports reaching the state secretariat of our great party, the PDP, indicate that a serving Commissioner in the government of Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola has been taking police operatives to private homes of PDP members in some local governments in the state to forcefully arrest them without any just cause.
“Specifically, police were reported to have invaded private homes of innocent members of our party members in Ijebujesha and Eti Oni in Oriade and Atakumosa East local governments respectively, effecting the forceful arrest of our members and inflicting on them bodily harms, even without any warrant of arrest to justify such cause of action against harmless citizens.
“More worrisome is the fact that, the police chose the dead of the night to invade citizens homes, embarking on sporadic gunshots, thereby subjecting the victims and their relatives to unnecessary psychological trauma.”
But while reacting, Osun APC Publicity Secretary, Wole Adunola, dismissed PDP’s claim saying, no state Commissioner was working with the police to harass anyone.
“The said Commissioner is not working with the police neither is he an intelligence officer and will not put his life at risk going to thugs, wielding gun in their homes at night. So, they should tell the world how their thugs disrupted PVC distribution in Ilesa and suburbs,” Adunola concluded.
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