From Ahmad Ibrahim, Lokoja
The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared that the allegation of double registration raised against Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has not been completely jettisoned, despite the issuance of temporary voter’s card to him at Okene, in the central axis of the state.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kogi State, Prof James Apam who disclosed this during an interactive session with civil society organizations and members of the media in Lokoja yesterday, said the matter can still be revisited at the appropriate time.
He pointed out that the allegation of double registration against the governor cannot take away his right to transfer his voting point from Abuja to Okene, even as he added that the issuance of the temporary voters card do not amount to exonerating the governor on the matter on ground.
He added that they were aware that the electoral umpire is under public scrutiny, saying every step they took has always been guided by the law, more so that not only the governor was attended to on the issue of transfer of permanent voters card but several others who applied to the commission in the state.
He further stressed the need for Nigerians to assist the commission to deepen democracy in the country, noting that there is need for the leaders at all levels to be compelled to account to the electorates through the ballot box.
The INEC Commissioner equally disclosed that from April last year to the end of February this year, 90, 553 males and 86, 313 females were registered by the commission while 7, 169 people had their permanent Voters Cards transferred.
He maintained that 57, 148 Permanent Voters Cards were distributed during the period under review; while 9, 400 others had their PVCs replaced, even as 202, 289 PVCs are yet to be claimed, a development he described as very disturbing.
Prof Apam further expressed the commitment of the electoral umpire to conduct free, fair and transparent elections in the country, and emphasized the need for the members of the civil society organizations and the media to support the commission in discharging its constitutional responsibilities.