The Bayelsa State government yesterday decried poor turnout of residents in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) being conducted at the various centres in the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
A statement by Office of the Special Adviser on Political Matters to the Governor said the government was not encouraged with the attitude of residents towards an exercise crucial to deepening democracy in the state and country
The Special Adviser on Political Matters, Mr. Fyneman Wilson, who spoke to repoters in Yenagoa, urged residents to take advantage of a fresh opportunity provided by INEC to register and get their voter cards.
Wilson said: ”Unlike other states of the federation, the turnout for the exercise in Bayelsa State is very poor and we need to encourage ourselves to do better.
“You wil recall that in the last election, Bayelsa state was one of the states with the least number of votes owing to voter apathy and low number of registered voters in the state.
“Its is important to note that the citizen participation in a democracy determines how the society progresses. One of such way to participate in decision-making in a democratic process is for citizens to exercise their civic responsibilities such as the right to vote and be voted for.
“INEC has, however, provided another opportunity for the citizens of this nation and by extension, Bayelsa, but the interest is still quite low in Bayelsa state.
“The Office of the Special Adviser on Political Matters is hereby calling on all Bayelsans and those residents in the state irrespective of their political and religion affiliation that has not yet registered and are of voting age, to make advantage of this opportunity to go to the designated centers in the state to register”.
Restating the CVR importance, Wilson said it would help the state to increase their voting strength in the forthcoming elections.
“Since it is one of the indices used in planning and increasing our stakes at the federal level, it is imperative for Bayelsan, especially those at the rural communities to turn out en masse to take part in the INEC registeration.
“Finally, Bayelsans should be reminded that the clamour for change or consolidation in a democratic dispensation can only be made possible through election and election cannot be done if the voters do not participate.
“Elections are soon coming up in 2019 and 2020 in Bayelsa State, remember, your vote is your power.”