Politics

Bayelsa residents applaud INEC on physical data capture in ongoing CVR

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that it will systematically embark on the commencement of physical registration of voters in its state and Local Government Area offices after consulting stakeholders and reviewing the security situation across the country.

Some residents in Bayelsa on Tuesday commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the seamless conduct of the second stage of the ongoing Continuous Voters’ Registration (CVR), involving biometric data capture.

Newsmen recalled that INEC on Monday began the nationwide biometric data capture of eligible voters who had earlier commenced the process online, as well as issuance of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) to those who had not collected theirs earlier.

Newsmen, who monitored the exercise in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa capital, reports that the exercise was being conducted seamlessly at the INEC headquarters in Swami area of Yenagoa and the Yenagoa Local Government Area (LGA) office of the Commission.

At the Yenagoa LGA, INEC office, residents who turned up for the exercise were orderly and took turns to do the biometric data capture.

Mrs Grace Akenge, 68, said that she was unable to register in previous exercises, but expressed her satisfaction at the manner she was able to complete the present registration process within a few minutes.

She added that although she did not start the online process earlier, she was able to complete the exercise under a conducive atmosphere.

Mr Dennis Ekiotimi, another participant, described the technology driven approach by INEC as laying a solid foundation for electronic voting in the future.

He observed that the online pre-registration process had effectively reduced crowd congestion in line with COVID-19 protocols, noting that the registration was even easier for those who had commenced the enrollment on the INEC portal, because they only waited for a short period to have their fingerprints and image captured.

Also, Samuel Markson told NAN that he completed the exercise in less than 30 minutes and gave kudos for the INEC staff for overcoming the challenges that were experienced the day before on Monday.

“I was here yesterday and the officials were weighed down by network issues which delayed the take off, but the Electoral Officer was up and doing, he personally went to INEC State headquarters to bring an Engineer who set up and configured the devices.

“They started late yesterday and I opted to come back today to find out that the process is very fast. I appeal to them to sustain the tempo,” Markson said.

Mr Wilfred Ifogah, INEC’s Head of Voter Education and Public Affairs in Bayelsa said the CRV was going on simultaneously in the state’s eight LGAs, in addition to two centres at the state headquarters.

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