*Seeks Accurate Reportage Of General Election
Okafor Ofiebor, Port Harcourt
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it is collaborating with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Matters Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to check vote-buying in the forthcoming general election.
Describing vote-buying as a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the country’s system, the electoral body said it has also sensitised youths in various villages in the country to monitor and report anyone involved in the act during the elections.
INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Rivers State, Johnson Alalibo Sinikiem, spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt, during the opening ceremony of the 2023 Correspondents’ Week of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
The theme of the Correspondents’ Week is “Media Vigilance Ahead of Peaceful 2023 Election In Rivers State.”
Sinikiem, who was represented by the Head, Voter Education and Publicity, Mark Usulo, said the new Electoral Act, anyone found with a Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) that does not belong to him or her, risks a jail term.
He also assured there have several attempts being made by unscrupulous persons to hack into the INEC website to compromise it but they have failed because of the constant vigilance and upgrading of the website and portal.
He said the security agencies, especially the Nigerian Police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) have been briefed to watch for people in possession of PVCs that are not theirs.
The REC, who called on the media to ensure accurate reportage of INEC activities before, during and after the general elections, said the electoral body will ensure a free, fair, credible and violent-free election.
He assured with measures already put INEC in place and guaranteed by the Electoral Act it will be near impossible for over-voting to take place at the polling units because any evidence of over-voting is outright cancellation of votes cast at a particular unit.
On the fear of failure of Bimodal the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS) on the day of the election due to poor network and power supply, INEC assured that BIVAS has been configured in such a way that it can still work offline in remote areas where there is no network.
In an answer to the question asked by our Correspondent Osulo said there have concrete assurances from network providers and the National Communication Commission, NCC, there network to transmit the results to the INEC portal.