Imo REC, Prof Francis Emeka Ezeonu's Interactive Session with Imo key Stakeholders for 2019 General Elections


INEC HOLDS INTERACTIVE SESSIONS WITH KEY STAKEHOLDERS IN PREPARATION FOR 2019 ELECTION
The release of the 2019 electoral timetable by INEC is a signal that political activities have take full flight, though subtly. INEC's strategy in releasing the time table very early, indicates the seriousness that the electoral business invokes. The length of time is to give room for thorough political engagement at all levels.  
Prof. Francis Ezeonu, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of INEC Imo State has cashed into the Commission's strategic election timetable, by engaging relevant stakeholders of the state on his observation during his tour of the Local Governments to supervise the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise.
In attendance were; Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Security organizations (Nigerian Police, Department of State Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Prisons (NP), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Nigerian Army (NA) etc.
The meeting which was held on 22/23 and 24 January, 2019, respectively was to brief them on the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) Exercise, the challenges, developments, electoral timetable and security issues affecting the exercise. The meeting also presented an opportunity to share the electoral risk factors with them.
Addressing the participants at the interactive session, Ezeonu said;
'Our target is for you to see how transparent we want the coming exercise to be. We want to start early to engage you, so that you can have very perfect understanding of all the steps we are taking; starting from CVR exercise'. We don't pretend to know it all. What is at stake is our democracy - safeguarding it is a collective enterprise'.
The gains of such meeting cannot be over emphasized. Recall that it was the CSOs that muted the idea of mobile registration ward. Past experience has proven that engaging relevant stakeholders opens up genuine citizens participation in the electoral process.
The REC informed them that there was tremendous improvement in the turnout of prospective voters that came to register. He urged them to identify lapses in the ongoing CVR exercise and report same to relevant authorities. He also charged the security organizations to collaborate with the Commission, and assist in checkmating electoral insecurity in the ongoing CVR exercise. He took time to share some of his observations during his surprise visit to some registration centers in Imo State.

The REC informed them of the incident at Odenkume ward in Obowo LGA; where the registration exercise was obstructed by hoodlums. The security challenge at Osemotor in Oguta LGA was also brought forward. The issue of security flashpoints in the state was raised. The forum agree that sufficient diligence will be put in place to ensure that the state is safe during 2019 elections.
The Hon. REC hinted that there are attempts by some politicians to influence INEC staff to do their bidding at the registration exercise. He mentioned that some  Electoral Officers, in connivance with stakeholders resort to doing the registration at convenient places other than the designated areas. He admonished such practice.
He cleared the rumor that INEC was creating fresh polling units. The REC explained that polling units whose names have changed are being corrected. He advised that the exercise should not be mistaken as creation of new polling units.
Imo REC, Prof Francis Emeka Ezeonu's Interactive Session with Imo key Stakeholders for 2019 General Elections Imo REC, Prof Francis Emeka Ezeonu's Interactive Session with Imo key Stakeholders for 2019 General Elections Reviewed by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu on Sunday, January 28, 2018 Rating: 5

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