From: Ali Abare, Gombe
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has decried the poor turnout of residents to participate in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise in Gombe State .
The state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Umar Ibrahim, raised the alarm during a meeting with stakeholders, on Tuesday.
Ibrahim while noting that turnout at the registration centres was “very poor”, charged stakeholders with the responsibility of sensitizing the people on the need to register with INEC.
He disclosed that INEC had recently approved ten additional centres for each state across the country, with the body in Gombe creating additional three centres internally to meet up with challenges posed by difficult terrain, distance and population size.
Ibrahim also said the new registration centres would be spread across the three senatorial districts of the state in order to make it easily accessible to residents.
He gave the total registration across the state from the commencement of the exercise in April as 46, 798, broken down into: First Quarter, 18, 074, Second Quarter, 20, 971 and Third Quarter, 7, 093.
The Gombe REC added further that collection of Permanent Voter Card (PVC) has not been impressive, stressing that over 47, 000 out of the initial 51, 000 PVCs ready for collection are still remaining at the office of INEC, uncollected.
He said the purpose of the meeting was to assess activities of INEC during the outgoing year with a view to preparing for the year ahead. The REC cited the Dukku North State Assembly bye-election as well as the CVR as major activities recorded during the year.
“The additional centres will be mobile, with each centre to operate for ten days before relocating. This is in order to be able to access difficult terrains,” he said.
He urged residents to take advantage of the additional centres and come out to register enmasse.
A female INEC official, who spoke to Daily Sun under condition of anonymity, attributed the low turnout of especially women at the registration centres to cultural and religious factors.
“The husbands are refusing to allow their wives to go and register. There are situations where husbands threaten wives with dissolution of marriage if they dared to go and register,” she said.