Judex Okoro, Calabar
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Cross River State, has disclosed that over 97 per cent of the Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) have been collected in the state leaving a balance of only per cent with the commission.
Resident Electoral Officer (REC) in the state, Dr. Frankland O. Briyai, who made the disclosure while interacting with political parties on the newly-released time table and schedule of activities for the 2019 general elections, on Tuesday, in Calabar, the state capital, said so far, the state has hit one million, three hundred and thirty two thousand, eight hundred and nine registered voters.
Dr. Briyai said of this number 156, 969 were registered last year during the 1st to 3rd phases of the continuous Voters Registration exercise.
According to him, the voters exercise was continuous and the fourth phase of the exercise was already underway this year. He assured that all noticeable lapses that were observed last year had been resolved to ensure a hitch free and very comprehensive exercise this year.
His words, “Last year, we completed the 1 -3 phases of the continuous voters exercise and registered thousands of new voters. We had a lot of complaints by stakeholders and the National Officer of the commission gave us ten new rotating registration centres.
“With this, we have done a lot of work and this year, we are going to be very active. The fourth phase of the continuous voters exercise is on and we have 28 functional centres across the 18 local government areas of the state and the 10 new registration centres will move across all the states beginning with Obubra and each month, they will be in four local government areas”.
The Resident Electoral Officer also explained that the essence of the rotating centres was to complement the work that is going on across the state and disclosed that the commission has completed modalities to go into the hinterlands of the state including Bakassi to ensure that potential voters are not disenfranchised in the course of registration.
Speaking, the inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC, chairman, Mr. Sunday Micheal, commended INEC in the state for its cooperation and regular holding of meetings which was not the case.
Micheal said the new REC has showed commitment to work and enthrone fair and free contest, calling on all parties in the state to abide by the electoral guidelines.
The time table made available to political parties depicted that political activities is expected to begin on August 17, 2018 with notice of election/collection of forms by political parties at the INEC Headquarters and end on March 2, 2019 with governorship and State House of Assembly Elections.
The Presidential and National Assembly elections are expected to precede the Governorship elections as it will hold on February 2,, 2019.