Hard times now awaits anybody, who indulges in double registrations or any form of malpractices as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) planned a nationwide continuous voter registration exercise.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Gabril O. Ada, at a meeting with political parties and stakeholders in the state warned that the commission would not take it kindly with people, who would be caught in double voter’s registration in the state.
He recalled that in the last voters’ registration exercise thousands of people were identified to have made double registrations but escaped being prosecuted saying this time around anybody who cheats will face the music and if possible go to jail.
The REC said the essence of the meeting was to brief all political parties in the state on the new guidelines and code of conduct as well as update their knowledge on the unfolding electoral activities by the commission.
According to him, the continuous voter registration exercise is to allow those Nigerians, who have turned 18 years, and those who didn’t register in the last exercise to do so as well as those with incomplete records like missing or insufficient fingers prints, missing pictures etc.
While urging political parties to mobilise their members and kinsmen at the grassroots to participate in the exercise, Ada stressed that the commission would not extend the exercise at the expiration of the days fixed for it to end.
“It is also my wish to reemphasised INEC’s readiness to issue permanent voters cards to all registered voters in the country before the end of the year. To this end, I’ll like to reiterate our resolve to enforce compliance to her Electoral Act that no person will be allowed to vote without a permanent voter’s cards.
“It is the desire of INEC to improve the successes recorded in the 2011 general elections which was adjudged free, fair and credible. Consequently, INEC has purchase 80, 000 Card Readers to indicate when accreditation started; the total number of persons accredited and vote collation at the polling units.
“In Akwa Ibom State are doing our best to ensure that we get it right in 2015. We have received some needed equipments and material for the exercise.
“We have concluded the restructuring exercise to reposition the commission and would soon carry out training of the manpower needed for the success of the exercise in the state.
“Let me give you my assurance that as major stakeholders, we will give all the political parties equal opportunity and regular interaction to discuss the way forward as we progress towards the success of this important exercise,” he stated.