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Edo Guber: APC Calls For Cancellation Of CVR Over Damages Of INEC Property

The Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday called for the cancellation of the Continuous Voters Registration exercise scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to begin in the state on Monday.

A press statement issued by the State Chairman of the party, Jarret Tenebe said the APC is making the call due to the damages to the INEC secretariat, materials and equipment meant for CVR.

Tenebe said, “We are calling for the cancellation of the CVR exercise expected to begin on Monday in Edo State due to the extensive damage to the INEC premises.

“INEC, Edo State, has officially alerted the public of the unprecedented damage inflicted upon its facilities and equipment, especially the INEC Voters Enrolment Device as a result of heavy rainfall on Friday night, when a torrential downpour hit Benin City, resulting in severe flooding and damages to the commission’s perimeter fence with the resultant damages and, submerging of sensitive materials in floodwater.

“The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Edo State, Dr. Anugbum Onuoha, himself has rightfully acknowledged that the INEC Benin City headquarters has suffered significant damage to its functionality, as a result. The Commission cannot therefore pretend to be determined to ensure that the CVR exercise proceeds as scheduled. This is unacceptable to us as an interested party.

He added, “We reject the planned use of the Ikpoba Okha INEC LGA office located at 16 Customs Road, off Benin/Auchi Road, Benin City as temporary “State Headquarters” for the Commission so the CVR can go on.

“We also condemn the plan of bringing in additional machines from neighbouring states including Delta and Bayelsa. These are all premeditated and only confirm our earlier position that the senior PDP chieftain has hired his wife who is a Director in INEC’s Bayelsa ICT office to pre-fill names in the data capturing machine.

“In the existing circumstances, we believe the wise option for INEC is the immediate cancellation of the CVR exercise and prioritize the safety and well-being of its staff and the general public more than anything else.

“INEC must address the aftermath of the flooding squarely and restore its operations to full functionality before resuming any electoral activities. This is our demand.

“Any attempt to proceed with the CVR exercise under current conditions would not only jeopardize the integrity of the voter registration process but also undermine the trust and confidence of the Edo electorate in the electoral system. We demand to be heard,” he added.

Reacting, the Deputy Director General, of media and publicity of the PDP campaign council, Olu Martin, said the APC does not have the power to decide for INEC.

He said, “Can you be crying more than the bereaved? The INEC that should complain say they have the capacity to carry out the exercise. The world has also gone digital and in a digital space, there is a backup and there is a backup for a backup.

“So for INEC not to be prepared for an eventuality of this nature means that they are incompetent. But INEC has said that they have the capacity to conduct the exercise despite the destruction to their office and equipment.

“INEC have said that they can operate from Ikpoba Okha Local government, so it is where the head of INEC is that will serve as the head office.

“APC is crying more than the bereaved. For me, it is a defeatist mentality and they are just trying to move away from the issue. And the issue is that there is no issue. The APC should realize that INEC is independent and they know how to carry out their functions,” he added.

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