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2023: INEC to train security, others on elimination of vote buying, impersonation

By Okechukwu Okechukwu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Saturday, said it would train presiding officers and security officers on curbing criminal activities like impersonation and vote trading ahead of 2023 general election.

The INEC National Commissioner in charge of Voter Education and Publicity, Barr. Festus Okoye, who disclosed this in Awka, Anambra State capital, during an interactive session with newsmen, explained that security officers on duty have right to arrest and prosecute electoral offenders.

Okoye, who described vote trading as a threat to voters sovereignty and national building, further implored the National Assembly to pass the electoral offences Act into law with a view to enabling the commission tackle electoral malfeasance at ease by prosecuting offenders accordingly.

He, however, observed that the nature of environments where voting take place give rooms to politicians to perpetuate the act because most of the facilities were public places and not INEC properties.

He also urged the media and other stakeholders to join in the fight against the menace of vote trading and vote buying by shaming the perpetrators accordingly.

On the Continuous Voter's Registration (CVR), Okoye said it would surely end on July 31st so as to enable the commission meet up with its other mandates and schedules ahead of 2023 general.

According to him, this would enable the commission vet the data, scrutinise the voters registers to clean up possible incidents of multiple registrations, print the various permanent voters cards (PVC), display voters registers across the 774 local government areas and polling units, among other activities. 

He assured that the commission would make available all the PVCs for those who registered or carried out voters transfers between January to June 2022 on October 2022, while those who enrolled between July 1st to July 31st 2022 would receive theirs by November 2022, at various local government offices of INEC.

Okoye commended stakeholders in Anambra State for supporting the commission throughout the period of the exercise, because according to him, with their efforts, INEC staff were able to device and execute the projects successfully among the populace by taken their machines to 82 places like markets, churches, communities, NUJ Secretariat and others with larger populations.

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