By Douglas Okoro
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has deployed five additional INEC Voter Enrolment Devices (IVED) to boost the ongoing voter registration in Ebonyi.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Dr Chukwuemeka Chukwu, disclosed this at a news conference in his office in Abakaliki on Friday.
Chukwu expressed delight over the large turnout of intending registrants in the state.
He said that INEC’s decision to increase the devices, in addition to the 46 in use, was to facilitate the process for interested residents of 18 years and above.
He also said that the commission had embarked on mass sensitisation of residents through the electronic media and town hall meetings with key stakeholders, including traditional rulers.
“INEC in Ebonyi as of today has 51 IVED due to the deployment of additional five.
“The gesture was necessitated by the upsurge of prospective registrants and our desire to ensure that we capture all of them,” Chukwu said.
He said that the extension of the registration deadline from June 30 by the commission was in obedience to popular appeals by Nigerians from different walks of life.
“We started the 2021/2022 continuous voter registration on June 28, 2021.
“INEC as an organisation has a roadmap and, according to our roadmap, the exercise is supposed to end on June 30.
“But, because of the number of eligible people coming out to register, the commission decided to extend the deadline, indefinitely.
“We, therefore, call on residents, who have yet to register, to avail themselves of the window to get registered,” the REC further said.
He also said that as part of the efforts to scale up the registration, INEC deployed two intervention mobile machines that would be taken around some institutions in Abakiliki to register people, due to the peculiarity of their jobs.
He said that the state had 2,948 polling units with 48 registration centres spread across the 13 local government areas.
Chukwu said that only 242 old PVCs had so far been claimed, while 131,728 were still in INEC’s custody.
He said that the PVCs of those who registered between June 28, 2021, and Feb.14 were already for collection.
He said that of the 19,294 persons that registered, only 18 persons had so far collected their cards.
He said that another category of 7452 PVCs belonged to those who updated and did transfers, among others.
He said that their PVCs had been distributed to INEC Local Government offices.
He appealed to relevant stakeholders to assist the commission to sensitise the people on the need to collect their cards.
Chukwu further said that the commission had activated the portal for the uploading of particulars of the Governorship and House of Assembly Candidates for the general elections.
“The portal will be open between July 1 and July 15 and once we close on Friday, July 15, there will not be any room to reopen it,” he said. (NAN)