Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged Nigerians to be vigilant and insist that political parties and their candidates do the right thing to ensure a free, fair, transparent and credible elections in 2019.
INEC’s National Commissioner supervising Benue, Anambra and Enugu States, Barr. Festus Okoye who gave the advice during an interface with the media and Civil Society Organisations in Makurdi, the Benue State capital at the weekend said the electoral umpire is working round the clock to ensure that the votes of the people count.
“We want to ensure that at the end of the elections, the votes of the people count.”
Okoye disclosed further that INEC has set up a special committee to come out with legal, registration and voting frameworks for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across Nigeria including Benue State that would guarantee their participation and protection in the 2019 general elections.
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He said the step became necessary to make sure all those who were displaced from their original homes as a result of one crisis or the others including flooding are not disenfranchised but giving the opportunity to vote candidates of their choice during the forthcoming general in Nigeria.
The National Chairman however warned security agencies, civil society organizations, media and other stakeholders to shun partisanship and concentrate on discharging their duties to the benefit of the country.
“Stakeholders need to play their parts properly, including security agencies, the political class, the media among others, to ensure a peaceful and successful conduct of the 2019 general elections.
On his part, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in charge of Benue State, Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda, disclosed that the commission has started peoples recovering permanent voter cards (PVCs) in some parts of Benue.
“It was discovered that some politicians are complicit in this by deceiving villagers especially internally displaced persons (IDPs) to submit their PVCs so that they could keep same for them or they ask them to give them their PVCs in exchange for fertilizers. In Ushongo Local Government alone, over 600 PVCs were mopped up in one of the villages.
On the display of Governorship list, Dr. Yilwatda stated that exact list of Governorship and senatorial candidates would not be displayed until the window for substitution of candidates closes on December 2nd, 2018.