By Gladys Nweke
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has revealed that the total number of permanent voters’ card collected in Rivers state as at the end of the extended deadline for PVC collection on Monday is 2, 833, 101 (2.83m) out of the 3, 215, 273 (3.215m) total registered voters in the state.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Obo Effanga, who disclosed this during a stakeholders’ interactive meeting in Port Harcourt, said the commission began the preparation for the 2019 elections by auditing the voters’ register of the 2015 general election.
According to him, for a period of 16 months, the country witnessed the first ever continuous voters’ registration that led to the clean up of the voters’ register. “Between April 2017 and August 2018, we devoted our time to giving citizens the opportunity to register, transfer, make corrections or request replacement of permanent voters card.
“We published the interim list of voters in all the nearly 120, 000 polling units in the country including the 4,442 polling units in Rivers state, received claims and objections which we addressed”
Also speaking, Acting State Coordinator National Orientation Agency (NOA), Young Ayotamuno, urged Rivers people to shun the attitude of making the state a flashpoint for violence in every election conducted.
He said further that violence in elections do not give Rivers state a good reputation, adding that the state was built on love and was known for its hospitality where foreign investors lived happily years back.
On his part, State Coordinator, National Youth Service Corps, Christian Chukwu, said that under his watch that no NYSC member will be involved in any electoral malpractice in the February and March elections in the state, stressing that youth corpers in the state have been warned against any form of electoral misconduct or they would be prosecuted.
Executive Officers of Nigerian Navy Service Pathfinder, Captain Samuel Garba, who spoke on behalf of the inter security agency committee, said security agencies are fully prepared to ensure the forthcoming elections in Rivers state are violent free.
He noted that preparations started early and are still ongoing to ensure all areas are covered, adding that aided security will be provided at the designated areas and not at the polling units.