Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has called on the media to deeply engage in voter education, general enlightenment and mobilization of the voter.
National Commissioner, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Barrister Festus Okoye, explained that there was urgent need to build public confidence in the electoral process through holistic voter education of the electorate.
Okoye who was represented by the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in Ekiti State, Prof. Abdulganiy Raji, in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, at the zonal sensitization forum for media managers and programmers organised by INEC.
“ the Commission’s was adequately prepared to conduct the coming elections with all activities attached to electioneering processes are almost fulfilled as entrusted by the constitution.
He said: “since the release of the timetable for electoral events, the Commission has been diligently implementing the schedule of activities for the 2019 general elections.
“we have so far implemented most of the activities, soon, we shall implement all and fulfill the mandate thrust upon us by the constitution”.
According to Okoye, who called on all registered voters who are yet to collect their Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs, urged all to go and collect them, adding that INEC has made special arrangement to make the PVCs available at the designated centres across wards.
The National Commissioner stressed that smart cards reader was designed to authenticate, confirm and verify the fingerprint of the voters as an additional confirmatory procedure to avert electoral malpractices.
In a case the finger is not authenticated by the card reader but the PVC is confirmed as genuine and the voter’s personal details are consistent with the manual register, the electorate shall be allowed to vote, he added.
Okoye who spoke on the existing challenge of vote buying, said the electoral body has put in place measures aiming at curtailing the vote buying on the forthcoming general elections.
He said: “we have received credible information that some politicians are financially inducing electorate to collect the Voter Identification Numbers, VIN, on their PVCs since it will be difficult to buy votes at the polling units”.
He however assured Nigerians that INEC will collaborate with security agencies to deal with the violators of electoral laws, including those who may be trying to compromise its staff to perpetuate the illegal acts.
The REC later warned its staff against conniving with politicians to promote the culture of vote buying that has inhibited democratic consolidation in the country.
Raji said: “The commission can’t deny the fact that there was vote buying in the system, but this was being done by politicians by way of manipulating the placement of the polling booths so that those voting can be monitored for financial inducement.
“In most cases, some party leaders do coerce or manipulate our staff so that they can be favoured in such arrangement which INEC did not support.
“INEC is not in support of any action that can affect the actual outcome of elections and hamper democratic consolidation”, he declared.