Friday, 4 December 2015

Bayelsa Poll: INEC Reveals Why Fake Voters Can't Be Stopped

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it has no power to stop suspected hired and fake voters from exercising their franchise if they provide valid permanent voter cards (PVCs) during Bayelsa state governorship election, The Guardian reports.

The commission’s spokesman in the state, Timidi Wariowei who made the disclosure on Thursday, December 3, said it was in reaction to the allegations of the presence of fake voters in the state, whom were allegedly mobilised by politicians to rig the poll.

He said the electoral umpire is already in the process of distributing sensitive materials to all local government areas of the state, pointing out that the commission will be unable to stop or prevent anybody who succeeded in the updated registration recently undertaken in the state from exercising their franchise.

INEC’s spokesman, however, noted that it is the job of security operatives and Bayelsans to comb out such impostors and make sure they are stopped from disturbing or hijacking the electoral process.

“There is nothing we can do if someone comes to the polling booth with a valid PVC, even if we have reservations. If they have successfully registered for the exercise before, we cannot prevent them from voting.

“However, the onus falls on the people of the community and the security agents to fish them out and do the needful. It is the residents who can identify themselves and they are the ones who would be able to point fingers at infiltrators because they know themselves,” he said.

According to him, card readers distribution, result sheets and ballot papers are currently ongoing in all the 105 wards of the state. He said the commission is expected to receive collation result sheets today or first thing tomorrow morning.

Wariowei who also spoke on the commission’s attempt to avoid cloning or substitution of original voting materials, said the transportation of election materials would be heavily guarded by the police and party agents.

“The inspector general of police during the stakeholders’ meeting we had on Tuesday said that he was deploying about 14,000 police officers in the state. So, all the stages of the process are heavily-policed and secured .We are also involving all the party agents in the movement of sensitive materials to prevent cloning and hijacking,” he said.

Meanwhile, the atmosphere in the state is already heated up following the brutal murder of the vice chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) Ward 1 in Odi community of Kolokuma/Opokuma local council of the state, Diseye Dickson by yet to be identified gunmen.

Also, a stalwart of the APC in Ekiti state, Mr Segun Osinkolu has urged security officials to take drastic actions against fraudulent INEC officials in the forthcoming Bayelsa governorship election.

PDP on his part had also alleged that the APC in collaboration with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security operatives plan to rig the election in favour of APC candidate, Timipre Sylva.

Just yesterday, according to Channels Television reports, six governorship candidates contesting on the platform of other renowned political parties stepped down for the flag bearer of the APC, Timipre Sylva.