IN a bid to ensure that all eligible Bayelsans are registered ahead of the forthcoming election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has approved the opening of ten additional centres to in the state for the on-going Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise to ease the challenge pose by the difficult terrain in the state.
Elated by the opening of ten additional centres to support the existing nine, Stakeholders in the state have lauded the electoral body (INEC) and its officers, urging them to do everything within humanly possible to ensure the success of the exercise in the state.
It would be recalled that the nation-wide Continuous Voters Registration (CVR), commenced in April 2017 with nine centres in the state.
The additional ten centres opened have brought the total registration centres to 19 in the state.
Addressing the Stakeholders, Mr Clement Oha, Director and Administrative Secretary of the Commission in Bayelsa, said the without opening additional centres, the commission would not achieve more than 60 percent success and would further reduce the voting strength in the state.
“So far so good, the registration exercise is going on smoothly, the additional centres are spread in all the councils’ area in the state.
“These centres were approved because of the topography of the state, and to ensure that eligible voters in the coastal communities of Brass, Ekeremor, Nembe and Southern Ijaw were captured.
“I however urge all stakeholders and NGOs in the state to support us to ensure that the exercise is hitch free,” Oha said.
Mr Nengi James, a Stakeholder, who described the INEC gesture to Bayelsa as laudable, even as he called on the state, particularly those residing in the riverine communities to take advantage of the new centres in their community and get themselves registered ahead of the 2019 polls.
James, State Chairman, Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) pledged to support the Commission to succeed in registering all eligible Bayelsans and non-indigenes residing in the state.
Mr Victor Werinipre Fisi, State Chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) decried the way political parties were still reluctant to mobilize their people, urging them to step up plans to ensure that the people registered.
“The problem here in the state is the political parties; this is the time to increase the voting strength in the state; party leaders sacrifice and enlighten the people, particularly those that have attained 18years and those that failed to register in the previous exercise” Fisi submitted.