A total of 187 candidates from 12 political parties are contesting for the 25 available seats in the Cross River House of Assembly for the 2023 general elections.
This was disclosed by Dr Cyril Omorogbe, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the state at a news conference in Calabar.
He also disclosed that 11 political parties fielded 69 and 28 candidates for the eight House of Representatives seats and the three Senatorial seats respectively.
He said 11 political parties would fight for the governorship position,d adding that Cross River had 322,351 new registrants in the just concluded voters registration.
“The total completed registration recorded in the State at the close of Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) is 322,351 as well as 58,305 voter transfers and 20,822 PVC replacements.
“A total of 73 Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Voter Enrolment Device (VED) were deployed to the 19 Registration centres in Cross River State (i.
e. the 18 LGA offices and the State office) during the exercise,” he stated.
On Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) collection, Omorogbe said collection would continue in all the Local Government Area (LGAs) offices of the State, while 69,016 PVCs remained uncollected from 2011 to date.
He expressed egret that the collection rate of the PVCs was low, considering that it wass just six months to the general elections.
According to him, “PVCs collection will continue in all the LGA offices.
PVCs collection by owners was one of the services carried out by our staff alongside the CVR.
“A total of 27,158 new PVCs were received by the State Commission in April for distribution to their owners but at the close of registration, only 3,897 were so far collected by voters, leaving an outstanding balance of 23,261 “This set of PVCs is for people that registered from June to December 2021. “From the old PVCs that are left over from 2011 to 2018; we have on record 57,310 PVCs but only 11,555 have been collected by their owners during this period under review with an outstanding 45,755 which is still not collected.
” While appealing for support from the political parties and their candidates ahead of elections, he urged the people to collect their PVCs. “I pledge that we will continue to work hard to deliver free, fair and credible elections come 2023,” he stated.
INEC had fixed Feb. 25, 2023 for the Presidential and National Assembly Elections and March 11 2023 for Governorship and Assembly elections.
According to the schedule of activities for the general elections released by the commission, campaign is expected to commence on Sept. 28 and Oct. 12 for the and state Assembly elections respectively.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says 585,629 eligible residents completed their registrations at the end of the just-concluded Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) in Lagos State.
INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Lagos state, Mr Olusegun Agbaje disclosed this in statement on Tuesday, after conclusion of the CVR in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that INEC CVR, which started on June 28, 2021 was initially billed to end on June 30 before it was extended to July 31. Agbaje, who appreciated the people of the state for turning out in large numbers to participate in the exercise, said the exercise had to end in order to allow INEC carry out other activities ahead of the 2023 general elections.
He said the CVR had to end to pave way for the commission to carry out other functions required by the Electoral Act 2022, regarding voter registration that would require time for such functions to be performed.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the commission is required to carry out display of the regrster of voters for claims and objections by members of the public, clean up the register to remove multiple registrants using the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) and consolidate the data of existing voters and newly registered voters for the production of National register of Voters.
“The commission is required to produce Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) for all fresh registrants and applicants for transfer as well as replacement of lost or damaged PVCs.” The INEC boss said the commission had to also give enough time for the collection of PVCs by their owners before the general elections in 2023. He added that INEC also needed time to make copies of updated register of voters available to political parties not later than 30 days to the general elections.
According to him, the commission has other activities that must be accomplished ahead of the general elections.
“We appreciate the cooperation of Lagos residents during the CVR and reiterate our determination to conduct very free, fair, credible and acceptable elections in 2023. “We also call for the citizens’ maximum cooperation and understanding as we forge ahead,” Agbaje said.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it recorded 10.4 million fresh registration in the nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) before it suspension on July 31. INEC said this in its CVR Update for Quarter 4, week 16, released on Monday, Aug. 1 in Abuja.
The commission also said that during the period, 12.2 million registrants completed their registrations, of which 3.4 million registered online, while 8.8 million registered through physical registration.
INEC gave the gender breakdown of the registrants who completed their registrations to be, 6,074,078 male and 6,224,866 female.
The update also showed that 8,784,677 of the registrants that completed their registrations were youths, 2,430,709 middle aged, 956,017 elderly, 127,541 old persons, while 87,083 were Persons With Disabilities (PWDs).
INEC also said that during the period of CVR, the commission received 31,098,013 applications including those for voter transfer, requests for replacement of PVCs, update of voter information record, etc, of which 216,442 was from PWDs. It gave the gender breakdown of those who applied to be 16,148,645 for male and 14,949,368 from women.
A breakdown of the completed registration by states showed that Lagos has the highest number of registrants that completed their registration with 585,629 registrants, followed by Kano with 569,103 and Delta with 523,517. Ekiti has the lowest number of people who completed registration with 124,844, followed by Yobe 152,414, FCT 211,341 and Imo with 213, 270. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the last CVR commenced in April 2017 and ended in August 2018, in the lead-up to the 2019 general elections.
It was scheduled to resume in the first quarter of 2020 but was suspended following the break out of COVID-19 pandemic.
However, INEC resumed the exercise on June 28, 2021 and suspended it on July 31. ABI
A political group, Youths In Politics (YIP), Nigeria, on Sunday in Lagos kicked off voter education and sensitisation campaign against vote buying and vote selling ahead of 2023 general elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the campaign, titled, “Don’t Sell Your Vote, Tomorrow Is Now”, started in Ikeja area of the state and had in attendance some celebrities who preached against vote selling in 2023. Addressing newsmen, the of the group, Mr Micheal Nwabufo, said the sensitisation had become imperative following challenges the nation was facing.
Nwabufo said: “We are against vote buying.
We are here to educate the general public not to sell their votes in 2023. They should vote the right person.
“We are not campaigning for anybody, all we are after now is to discontinue the trend of vote buying and selling in our elections.
“Enough is enough of suffering; people should not sell their votes but vote in right leadership based on their conviction and not because of the money collected from any politicians.
” He said that the group would carry the same campaign against vote buying and vote selling to over 500 local government areas in Nigeria.
According to him, the youth group has over 9.6 million membership across the nation including celebrities to sensitise the public on the need to install right leadership.
Nwabufo said that it was better for people to go hungry for a while than to sell their votes and enthrone bad leadership that would bring years of hardship to them.
He added: “A lot of things are happening in the country that we cannot bear any longer, we just have to vote right leadership now.
“Time is going, we should not delay in putting right people in leadership.
“Nigeria should be competing with America with all the enormous human and natural resources at its disposal.
” On the July 31 INEC deadline for the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), Nwabufo urged the commission to extend the registration to capture more people who were seeking opportunity to register.
According to him, the group has about 60 celebrities who are ready to sensitise people more to come out and register to exercise their franchise.
Also speaking, Mr Seyi Awolowo, one of the group’s leaders, begged Nigerians not to sell their votes for any amount, so as to create a better country for themselves and their children.
Kneeling down openly to beg the crowd, Awolowo said that people should not because of hunger sell their votes, adding that Nigeria must get its leadership right in 2023. “The masses have the voting power, they should use this to create the country they want for themselves and their children,” he said.
On the CVR deadline, Awolowo said that it was not fair to end the exercise six months to the elections, saying many people had not got opportunity to register.
Also, Mr Odion Osaron, another leader of the group, said that the sensitisation became imperative because of the recent development in Ekiti and Osun governorship elections.
Osaron said: “It has become important for us to educate the voters on the importance of not selling their votes because where we are today as a nation is as a result of people who sold their votes.
“We should not repeat the same mistake.
2023 remains a very important year for us to install right leadership.
” The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the group doled out cash and foodstuff to the aged, children and people in need.
The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Lagos State, says many Nigerians may not have been captured in the INEC Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) that ends nationwide on Sunday.
IPAC also said that many Nigerians that would be of voting age some months to the election would also be defranchised.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise which started on June 28, 2021, was initially billed to end on June 30, before it was extended to July 31. NAN also recalls that in Lagos state as at July 18 those who registered online were 640, 560 but many of them had not completed their registration, while those who completed the registration exercise were 451, 156. INEC Resident Electoral Commission (REC) in Lagos state, Mr Olusegun Agbaje said on July 24, that current statistics of July 28, showed that Lagos State had about seven million registered voters.
The REC disclosed that the number was derived from the new registrants so far in the ongoing CVR, added to those in the old register of voters in the state.
IPAC Chairman in Lagos state, Mr Olusegun Mobolaji, however, said that INEC should reconsider ending the registration.
Mobilaji who made the appeal when he spoke with NAN on Sunday, was reacting to the scheduled July 31 deadline of the CVR.
He said that for elections to be free, fair and credible, every eligible citizen must be allowed to participate in choosing the leadership they wanted.
“Everything about credible elections is voter register and voter cards, and if that is actually what INEC really stands for as unbiased umpire, for the purpose of democracy, INEC should be fair in all areas, especially in allowing those who have not registered to do so.
“I think INEC should have a way of allowing every eligible voter get their voter cards to choose the leadership they want,” he said.
He stressed that irrespective of the time the registration started, the commission should.
not discontinue the exercise.
“Irrespective of the fact that INEC had started the voter enrollment exercise in 2021, if the time is not enough for everyone that want to participate in the election to get registered and obtain a voter card, INEC should not stop registration,” he said.
He said that continuation of voter enrollment would not affect every other electoral activity and processes put in place by the commission to conduct good elections.
According to him, they continue until it becomes glaring that it will be impossible to print voter cards again, we will all know that they have done their best.
“I think voter registration can go simultaneously with every other plan INEC has.
“There should be a way round this, such that everyone that is of voting age is given the opportunity to be able to vote.
We still have months to the election.
” Mobolaji said that INEC could get more gadgets and personnel to register every eligible citizen who presented themselves for the registration.
“INEC may have done its best but I can say that its best is not enough for the present dispensation as well as the requirements and demand of present democracy.
“Nigerians want to be part of the decision making process.
They want to elect good leaders.
All eligible citizens want to be part of it,” he stated.
According to him, the only way to reposition the country is through ballot and every qualified citizen should be allowed to vote in 2023. He said that the crowd at enrollment centres across the country showed that the time for registration was not enough.
The Police Command in Lagos State on Saturday said no INEC official was arrested on Friday in connection with the ongoing Continuous Voter’s Registration (CVR) exercise in the state.
The command’s spokesman, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday , while reacting to the incident.
NAN reports that some online media on Friday reported that thugs invaded INEC CVR centre situated at St. Bridget Catholic Church, ljesha, in Surulere, and catered away INEC enrollment machines.
Hundeyin, however, said that Police got information about the presence of some INEC officials in a church, stressing that the DPO, police division in Ijeshatedo, swung into action and brought the INEC officials and materials to the station.
He said the DPO decided to bring the officials and others around to the station, because the church was not conducive for such investigation, to avoid break down of law and order.
The spokesman noted that after the DPO’s findings, there was a mix-up of address location and he requested the INEC officials to move to the correct address.
Hundeyin pointed out that the police carried INEC materials and officials out of the church, not hoodlums as being speculated on social media.
“The INEC officials were assigned to Imam Thani Street, by House No. 9A for the exercise.
They were, however, found within the church premises.
Residents raised concerns and informed the police.
“Preliminary findings show that a resident of the area who volunteered to transport the officials from their office to the center, was responsible for the mix-up, deliberate or not, further investigation will reveal.
“Meanwhile, the officials were immediately released to proceed to the correct center to continue their assignment,” he said.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday said the Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) for persons captured in the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) would be ready in October and November.
Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner, Information and Publicity, disclosed this while monitoring the concluding segment of the ongoing CVR in Awka, Anambra on Saturday.
Okoye, who doubles as the National Commissioner supervising Abia, Anambra and Benue, reaffirmed that the exercise would end on Sunday.
According to him, INEC has to bring the exercise to a close, to enable the commission to cross check data collated.
“This will enable our system operators to eliminate double and multiple registrations before we produce the PVCs for distribution.
“The law equally requires that we should display the register in the 774 Local Government Areas and 8, 809 registration areas for claims and objections.
“And we have to print the PVCs, truck them to all the local government areas across the country for collection,” he said.
Okoye who stated that it would be useless for people to register and failed to receive their PVC, added that without the card, nobody would vote.
He said those who registered between January and June, that there cards would be ready in October, while those who registered from July 1 to July 31 would collect in November.
Giving details of the exercise in Anambra, Okoye stated that 276, 767 persons completed their registration as at July 25.He said that the commission deployed a total of 110 INEC Voters Enrollment Devices (IVED) in the state out of which 10 malfunctioned.
Okoye added that six of the faulty machines were later repaired, saying that the commission did it’s best on the exercise.
The INEC official later addressed both the media and scores of prospective registrants at the Commission’s state headquarters, Awka and advised Nigerians to have faith in the leadership of INEC.
He said that the organisation was committed to making the 2023 general elections to be better than previous elections held.
Okoye told the people to endeavour to participate during the elections when they eventually received their cards, insisting that votes must count in future elections.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State on Saturday, debunked reports of arrest of its officials over alleged creation of illegal voter enrollment centre.
INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Lagos state, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, made this clarification in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria .
NAN recalls that some media outfits had reported that three officials of INEC in the state, were arrested by Police officers from the police station in Ijeshatedo for allegedly conspiring with St. Brigigs Catholic Church, Ijeshatedo, Lagos, to create an illegal Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) centre in the church.
Reacting, Agbaje described the news report as fake news.
“All my staff and machines are complete.
No member of INEC staff was arrested anywhere in Lagos on Friday,” the REC said.
Recall that INEC on Friday, debunked reported invasion of the same CVR centre by thugs and carting away of its enrollment machines.
There had been a huge surge in most voter enrollment centres in the state ahead of July 31 CVR deadline.
INEC National Commissioner in charge of Abia, Anambra and Benue, Mr Festus Okoye, has said that the commission will deploy over 200,000 Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in the 2023 general elections.
Okoye, who was in Abia to monitor the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), said this during an interactive session with newsmen in Umuahia on Friday.
He said that the BVAS would be deployed in the 176,000 polling units across the country.
He said that the surplus would be kept handy as reserve.
“We will have one BVAS reserve in every Registration Area Centre (RAC) to ensure immediate intervention in case of any failure,” he said.
He further said that Technical Officers would be on standby at every RAC to attend to any technical issues that could arise in the course of the polls.
Okoye, who is the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, said that the commission had the capacity to conduct seamless general elections in 2023.
According to him, the commission is poised to replicate the achievements and successes recorded in the Ekiti and Osun Gubernatorial Elections.
He attributed the commission’s feat in the two elections to the deployment of technology.
He said that the deployment of technology and outcomes of the elections “have given Nigerians fresh hopes”.
He said that 2023 offered the commission an opportunity to improve on its record.
“The Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, has assured Nigerians that this commission is determined to conduct good elections to make sure that votes count.
“The commission will deploy technology to obviate human interferences to undermine its efforts,” Okoye said.
He expressed delight over the large turnout of young Nigerians for the CVR.
He said that of the 11 million Nigerians that had completed their registration, about 7.
8 million were between 18 years and 34 years.
“The interest shown by the young Nigerians meant that the future of the country is bright.
“The youths have shown that the PVC has power and they are ready to use it to make a change.
“The PVC has power and value.
It is not enough to obtain your PVC.
“You must come out and vote on the day of the election,” he said.
Okoye further said that as at July 25, INEC’s record showed that about 28.
5 million prospective voters registered online.
He said the figure included fresh registrants and those for transfers, destroyed, defaced and lost voter cards.
He also said that the commission had integrated Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the electoral process.
The INEC chieftain said that 34 Presiding Officers and Assistant Presiding Officers in the Osun election were PWDs. He said that the commission would provide special equipment, including magnifying glasses, brailes and other aids for PWDs during the 2023 polls.
He also said that expectant and nursing mothers would be given preferential treatment during the polls.
Okoye said that the commission had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the leadership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers as part of the efforts to ensure speedy distribution of electoral materials on the election day.
He said that Electoral Officers at the local government areas would also arrange with the local transport workers for the movement of materials.
He also said that the commission was discussing with the Police for the timely deployment of personnel to escort materials to polling units.
Okoye further said that the commission had begun intensive discussion with all the security agencies on ways to provide adequate security on the election day “so that the electorate would be confident to go out to vote”.
He said that the July 31 deadline for the CVR remained sacrosanct.
He said that the commission had enormous task to accomplish ahead of the election proper, hence could not afford another extension.
He said that the CVR had lasted for over a year and that INEC would not glorify “the last minute rush attitutde” of some Nigerians.
Addressing a crowd of prospective registrants at the INEC office, he advised them not to engage in double registation.
“This exercise is exclusively for those who have not registered before and those that have just attained age 18,” he said.
He warned that double and multiple registrations were criminal offences and amounted to exercise in futility.
“At the end of the CVR, the commission will carry out a de-duplication to remove double and multiple registrations,” Okoye said.
He also spoke on the efforts by the commission to check “voter suppression” through vote buying by desperate politicians and their agents.
He said that the commission was collaborating with DSS and EFCC to effectively checkmate the ugly phenomenon.
He said that the commission had yet to get concrete evidence regarding the allegations of under-aged registration in some parts of the country.
He challenged communities to help arrest the illegal act, saying it could only take place with the complicity of the people.
Okoye said that PVCs had no expiry date and that it was not true that those obtained in 2011 needed to be revalidated.
He also said that investigation was still ongoing to uncover the facts surrounding the millions of PVCs reportedly found in one of the states in the country.
He said that a preliminary investigation by the commission with some samples of the PVCs did not give any clues as to the owners and state they originated from.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State, said that thugs did not cart away its voter enrollment machines in Surulere as being reported in some sections of the media.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that some online media on Friday, reported that thugs invaded INEC Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) centre, situated at St. Bridget Catholic Church ljesha, in Surulere, and catered away INEC enrollment machines.
Reacting to the development, INEC’s Public Relations Officer in Lagos state, Mrs Adenike Oriowo told NAN that though the exercise was distrupted because of the surge, no machine was stolen.
“There were issues in the said CVR centre but orderliness was restored and the exercise continued smoothly.
“We have moved the registration in that centre to another polling unit in the area, and our officials have continued with the registration.
“People should be patient.
We shall register as many people as possible.
If people continue to disrupt the process, the opportunity to register more people before the deadline will be interrupted.
“Our commitment is to register as many people as possible and we will try to do so within the limited time,” the INEC spokesperson said.
Oriowo, who frowned at the last minute rush by many applicants, said the exercise had been on since June 2021 and many people did not take the advantage but waited till the deadline.
“As it is, INEC started this process over a year ago.
The surge we are experiencing in the last few weeks is expected, but people should as well be patient.
“The commission will do everything possible to register as many people as possible.
We will try as much as possible to capture everybody,” she added.
Oriowo said that INEC had also been monitoring the CVR processes in the state.
NAN recalls that the CVR which commenced in June 2021 would be concluded on July 31, ahead of the 2023 general elections.