Tuesday, June 24, 2014 3:47 pm
Ilorin – Chief Timothy Ibitoye, Kwara Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), on Tuesday said the commission would commence the distribution of permanent voter cards in the state from July 18.
Ibitoye said this at the inauguration of a 13-member Inter-Agency Advisory Committee on Voters Education and Publicity (SICVEP) in Ilorin.
He said that the exercise would last till July 28, after which he said, the commission would embark on continuous voter registration.
The REC said that the committee members were drawn from the Federal and State Government Agencies as well as professional bodies, to assist the commission in the public enlightenment of voters.
Ibitoye listed six terms of reference of the committee to include ensuring inter-agency cooperation in voter education and promoting partnership.
Others are ensuring proper co-ordination and monitoring of voter education activities, standardising and streamlining voter education messages and materials.
Ibitoye said that though the commission had partnered other agencies in the past, this was the first time it would be engaging a wider range of agencies.
According to him, the purpose of broadening the committee in the task of education and enlightenment is to reach the electorate, particularly at the grassroots.
Ibitoye described the activities of the committee as part of the commission’s effort of ensuring credible elections.
The REC said the commission had discovered that there had been a lot of invalid ballot papers at the end of voting during the previous elections.
According to him, the large number of invalidated ballot papers has been cause of public criticism of previous general elections.
A member of the committee, Alhaji Abdulfatai Adebowale, in his response, advised the commission to translate its awareness messages into various local languages spoken in the state.
Adebowale, who is also the General Manager, Kwara State Television Corporation, said that this was to bridge the gap of information and education between the commission and the public.
Members of the committee comprise representatives from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and National Orientation Agency (NOA).
It also includes Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ministry of Women Affairs, INEC Administrative Secretary and Head of the Voter Education and Publicity as members. (NAN)