By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Akwa Ibom, Mr. Frank Archibong has urged local government chairmen in the state to champion the nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) in their respective councils.
This formed the basis of a special meeting he held with the chairmen of the 31 local government areas on the need for massive voters education/sensitisation exercise in Uyo on Thursday.
Mr. Archibong urged the chairmen to encourage every one of voting age within their domains, especially the youths, to engage actively in the exercise.
“There are no better positioned persons to simplify the ongoing PVC registration process than the local government council chairmen and other leaders at that level,” Archibong said.
Mr Archibong stressed that the first critical step of participating in governance was to get a voter’s card that enables them determine who governs them and how they are governed.
He said the aim of the meeting was to notify council helmsmen on the need to resume CVR exercise in their different local government councils.
The Commissioner expressed optimism that Akwa Ibom would be ranked among states with the highest number of registered voters considering the state’s current population density.
He added that election could only be guaranteed if people were adequately educated on how to use android phones and laptops to key into the INEC’s new model of online registration.
He, therefore, encouraged the helmsmen to carry out massive enlightenment campaigns for indigenes and residents of their councils, who would be eligible to participate in the 2023 elections.
“It will be a great disservice to the local populace if council chairmen ignore the need to, not just properly educate their people on the online registration processes, but the need to massively mobilise those who are eligible to be registered,” he said.
He further tasked the chairmen to engage computer literate persons with android phones and laptops in rural communities to help the rural dwellers who were not conversant with the use of the devices.
The commissioner lauded the support staff from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in every local government area, saying such support would help make the process less hectic for indigenes.
He urged the chairmen to go back to their domains and engage the councillors, traditional rulers, youth leaders and women leaders in the task of creating awareness and sensitising the people on how to go about the online registration.
Responding on behalf of the chairmen, Mr Iniobong Robinson, Chairman of Esit Eket Local Government Area, commended the Commissioner for the programme.
He promised that they would sensitise eligible voters above18 years who had not been registered to register and get their PVCs in the state.