As Ekiti State prepares for its June 18 governorship election, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has detected 47,633 voter double registration on its portal.
The commission averred that such people have had their registration invalidated to prevent double voting during election, with the aid of the Bimodal Voter Authentication System(BVAS) invented by INEC to sanitise its registers.
The INEC’s Head of Department, Information and Communication Technology, Titilayo Oderinde, gave the starling revelation in Ado Ekiti, on Saturday, during a day training workshop organised for Ekiti journalists in preparation for the impending governorship poll.
Oderinde, who elucidated on the BVAS application and its significance to the credibility of elections, said no individual can exercise double franchise during election with the help of the ICT innovation.
He said: “During the just concluded Continuous Voter Registration exercise declared by INEC for intending voters to update their registration, a total of 124,963 persons registered in Ekiti.
“But it will surprise you that when the number was subjected to BVAS scrutiny, a total of 47,633 were discovered to have registered twice and got expunged from the register.
“Though, the commission was so lenient that one of the double registrations was struck out leaving one for the voter to exercise his franchise. It is not applicable to a gender, the offence was committed by both genders.
“But I see no reason why people should be doing this when they can approach the commission for migration of their polling units, even if they leave their environment for another location”.
Also addressing the participants, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ekiti State, Dr. Adeniran Tella, appealed to voters not to treat their Permanent Voter Cards(PVCs) as instruments for mere identification, saying they are to be deployed to vote on election day.
“PVCs are not designed as identification cards, they are for voting. We want to do away with this voter apathy and we are starting with the Ekiti election. I salute our women for participating well in registration. 71% of them had also collected their PVCs.
“We are assuring the People Living with Disabilities that their interests will be protected by the commission. They are Nigerians with inalienable rights to vote and we shall provide an enabling environment for them to vote in this election, we have made adequate provision for them.”
The INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, added that part of the constitutional frameworks designed for the success of any election, is freedom of press, warning that this shouldn’t be abused to prevent violence during election.
“Before journalists can monitor elections in any state, he must have good knowledge of the social, political, economic, and geographical composition of that environment.
“He must also understand the security situation, because all these differ from state to state.
“They must also have a deep knowledge of the laws guiding the conduct of elections. They must know what laws permit regarding the information you dish out. Media personnel are not permitted to give out information that can mislead the populace and ignite violence on the day of election. They have to be accurate.
“In this election, we appeal to you to be neutral, non-partisan, ethical and professional in the discharge of your duties, so that we can record success together and conduct an election that can be acceptable to all,” he said.