The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has dismissed as untrue a report credited to the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma to the effect that the Commission has resumed the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise in places where the exercise was earlier suspended in the State.
Speaking on Sunday at the end of Church Service at the Government House Chapel Owerri as Catholics marked their 2022 Mothering Sunday, Uzodimma had, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser, Oguike Nwachukwu, said “By Monday, the 25th of April, 2022 the CVR will resume in all the designated centres while the three Local Governments under ban will carry out the registration at their Local Government Headquarters.”
The Governor had noted the importance of the Continuous Voters Registration, saying “those who are deliberately scaring the people away from registering are enemies of the State who want to draw the State back knowing full well that the INEC registration and the population census are yardsticks for Federal Revenue Allocation to States and Local Governments.
“Therefore, there is every need for every citizen of Imo State, 18 years and above, to go and register and obtain the PVC for the forth coming election.”
A statement by Festus Okoye Esq, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, has, however, said that the information concerning the resumption of the CVR exercise “is misleading.”
Okoye’s statement, dated Tuesday April 26, 2022 said categorically that “the position of the Commission has not changed” regarding the suspension of “the ongoing voter registration exercise in all the 54 additional centres created to facilitate the registration of voters across the State” and the restriction of the exercise “to our State and Local Government Area offices except in Orsu, Njaba and Ihitte Uboma Local Government Areas where it is suspended indefinitely.”
The full text of the INEC statement reads:
ALLEGED RESUMPTION OF VOTER REGISTRATION IN SOME LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS OF IMO STATE
Our attention has been drawn to media reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has resumed the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) in places where the exercise was earlier suspended in Imo State. This is misleading.
It will be recalled that following the unfortunate incident in Imo State in which our staff was killed by gunmen in Ihitte Uboma Local Government Area, and reports of insecurity in other parts of the State, the Commission suspended the ongoing voter registration exercise in all the 54 additional centres created to facilitate the registration of voters across the State. The exercise is still confined to our State and Local Government Area offices except in Orsu, Njaba and Ihitte Uboma Local Government Areas where it is suspended indefinitely. The position of the Commission has not changed.
While the Commission is not unmindful of the imperative of giving every eligible Nigerian the opportunity to register and vote in future elections, the safety and security of citizens involved in the exercise is a paramount concern.
We appeal to the public to discountenance the purported resumption of the CVR in the three LGAs of Orsu, Njaba and Ihitte Uboma. Such statements are capable of misleading the public and further jeopardising the safety of registrants and officials as well as the security of the Commission’s facilities.
At the appropriate time, the Commission will announce any new decision on the matter after consultation with the security agencies and critical stakeholders.
The Commission has an organized and official means of communication and has been upfront with providing information to the general public.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission has not appointed any unofficial spokesperson on any its activities.
Festus Okoye Esq
National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee.
Tuesday 26th April 2022.