Emmaneul Adeyemi, Lokoja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has registered a total of 245,195 new voters in Kogi State.
The state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. James Apam, disclosed this at a news conference, in Lokoja, on Wednesday.
Prof. Apam said the number was made up of 123,877 males and 121, 318 females, saying that the Commission has so far treated 9,774 applications for voters’ cards transfer and 12,123 cases of damaged or defaced permanent or defaced permanent voters card
“While registering new voters and treating the cases of the already registered voters, we were also issuing out the permanent voters cards of those who registered before the 2015 election. A total of 59,078 cards have been issued out leaving a balance of 200, 429.
“In May, 2018, a total of 112,333 new permanent voters card were printed for Kogi State. This number is made up of only those who registered freshly and those who applied for interstate transfer of their voting point.
” The printed cards are only for those who registered in April to December 2017 as we are yet to print those of 2018 registrants” he said.
The INEC resident commissioner also added that, as at June 12th, only 7,943 cards Out of the 112, 333 printed for the state have so far been collected.
Apam also raised concern on some security challenges which he said has hampered the continuous voters registration in some State.
According to him, “We have had to suspend our work in Omala and some parts of Dekina Local Government Area following attacks by suspected herdsmen in those areas as the attack made those places unsafe for our staff to work there.
“Currently, we are experiencing some security challenges in Bassa and Dekina Local Government Areas as a result of the violent communal conflict there. We believe that the security agencies and Traditional rulers are aware of the security breaches and are taking steps to bring them to an end”.
He said a quick resolution of these conflicts would be better for the commission’s work in ensuring that every eligible voters is made ready for elections in 2019.
On why the commission is yet to conduct bye-election in the State, following the death of the deputy majority leader in the federal house of representative, late Hon Buba Jibril, the commission observed that the speaker Yakubu Dogara is yet to declare the seat vacant.