June 20, 2024

INEC CVR in Edo State: Commission Cries Out After APC Accusation, Says BVAS Machines ‘Soaked’

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By Reporter

Earlier today, May 25, the head of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) head of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Timidi Wariowei, reported the flooding incident at the commission’s head office in Benin City, Edo State capital, which he claimed ‘soaked’ all the IVED for the forthcoming Continuous Voters Registration (CVR).

His disclosure comes few hours after the All Progressives Congress (APC) accused INEC of planning to rig the September 21 governorship election in the state.

Waroiwei’s report which was posted in a closed WhatsApp platform reads: “Good morning everyone. The heavy rain that fell last night in Benin City destroyed part of the Commission’s fence and the entire compound was flooded.

“All the offices downstairs of the building and the ICT building were completely flooded.

“All the cars, generators and IVED for the forthcoming CVR are completely soaked. Hopefully, it’s in the afternoon when the water has receded that staff can enter their offices to assess the extent of damage.”

Reacting to the development, the APC Chairman, Emperor Jarrett Tenebe, while expressing concern for the well-being of INEC’s staff, urged the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) to transparently inform all stakeholders involved in the forthcoming election on the true level of damage to the IVED that were already programmed for the Continuous Voters Registration in the state.

He added that, “In view of the report of connivance with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor Godwin Obaseki, it has become expedient that nothing is left to the imagination of anyone.”

It will be recalled that the APC had raised alarm that the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration in connivance with officials of INEC had concluded plan to use the forthcoming Continuous Voters Registration, CVR, exercise to rig the September 21st governorship election.

The State Publicity Secretary of the party, Peter Igbingie, while raising the alarm during a press briefing in Benin City yesterday, Friday 24, 2024, accused INEC’s ICT officials as the one pencilled down to do the dirty job for the Edo State Government.

According to him, working under the guise of no adequate personnel for the exercise, arrangements have been allegedly concluded with INEC to “deploy the services of Edo teachers and civil servants in addition to members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, as Ad Hoc staff.”

He added: “It has become expedient that our Party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), raised this alarm and bring to the notice of well-meaning Nigerians, the ingnoble plans by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State to circumvent and rig the 2024 Governorship Election in the State using the forthcoming Continuous Voters Registration, CVR, Exercise as a formidable platform.

“Additionally, the APC has found out that Governor Obaseki is working closely with the head of INEC ICT unit so the PDP can manipulate the Voters Register and the BIVAs.

“We have on good authority and from multiple sources that some gullible officials of INEC in most of the 18 local government areas that make up our state, have approached the outgoing Edo State government to provide them with ‘logistics’ for the CVR. In anticipation, these unpatriotic INEC officials have promised to allow the PDP unfettered access to INEC data capturing machines.

“The APC is also aware that the INEC officials have hidden under the guise of no adequate personnel for the exercise, to make frivolous complaints to the outgoing Governor Godwin Obaseki aimed at undermining the core mandate of the institution.

“Cashing in, the Governor has agreed with INEC to deploy the services of Edo teachers and civil servants in addition to members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, as Ad Hoc staff.

“He has promised to bankroll their stipends after the CVR exercise.”

The APC State Publicity Secretary who alleged that the state government has concluded plan to register underage persons with a view to giving such cards to adults to vote during the election, advocated “strict compliance with the INEC designated venues for the CVR exercise which is the Ward Headquarters.”

Igbingie also demanded the “immediate deployment of INEC Head of ICT in Edo State who we know is working closely with a female INEC staff in Bayelsa State: She is the wife of a PDP chieftain Edo State,” and “complete restriction of transfer of voters from neighbouring states during the CVR exercise,” APC said.

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