As part of Strategy and Innovative Development Initiatives (SI4DEV) mandate to empower community leaders towards achieving an improved accountable and transparent electoral process in Nigeria, SI4DEV partners across the states were mandated to visit INEC offices in their respective states. The objectives of the visit were to 1. Assess INEC Information Communication Unit, 2. Identify challenge(s) affecting voters registration and 3. Proffer solutions to identified challenge(s).

In view of this, Grace Ofonime Jimbo, SI4DEV Ambassador in Uyo accompanied by Emmanuel Joshua (a volunteer in the Uyo Location SI4DEV group) paid a visit to 2 INEC offices on 8th March, 2018.

Sites Visited

Two INEC offices were visited in Uyo namely;
INEC Office Uyo Office , Ikot Akpan Abia, Uyo
INEC Akwa Ibom State Headquarters, Udo Umana, Uyo

Activity Carried Out

The team first point of call was at the INEC Office Uyo Office at about 2pm. The team met a crowded voters who were eager to register for their Permanent Voters Card (PVC). Interaction with some of the voters revealed that some have been on the process of registration for 2 to 3days without receiving their temporary voters card. Some nursing mothers who brought their children were seen sitting on the pavement awaiting when they could register. The team also observed that only two desktops were used for registration which was insufficient for the number of the people who wanted to get registered.

The team interacted with the INEC staff on ground requesting if SI4DEV could support in provision of desktop including volunteer personal to assist in the registration process. The INEC staff said such collaboration can only be directed by the headquarters considering the sensitive role INEC plays in electoral process. He further explained that some of the voters who had previously registered and were registering for the second time, thus, the reason of the long queue. He made it clear that any voter who register twice will not receive his PVC because the system will invalidate the registration. Also, some of the voters who were supposed to register at the ward level choose to come to Uyo center.

Thereafter, the team visited the ICT officer in INEC Akwa Ibom State Headquarters who received the team and appreciated SI4DEV commitment in electoral process. In response to the observations witnessed by the team in Uyo INEC office, he explained that INEC cannot receive laptops from private individuals or NGOs as those laptops are not INEC properties. According to him, INEC can be accused of compromise by any political parties. He said that INEC have sufficient laptops but due to operating system challenge resulting from formatting of system after every phase of registration, some of the laptops had gone bad. He, however advised that SI4DEV can support in the areas of provision of RAM, hardware, consumables such as paper and ink. The ICT assessment questionnaire was also administered to him.

He referred the team to the office of citizen education and publicity, however, the HOD and Assistant where not on seat at the time of visit. Phone call was made to Assistant HOD, who informed the team that registration at the ward level was on-going according to the schedule development by community stakeholders and INEC electoral officers. He promised to share the schedule by Monday to the team.

Key Observations

  • Insufficient laptops at INEC registration, Uyo; only two persons were doing the registration.
  • Most of the voters do not know designated dates for registration at the ward level.
  • The registration process is quite strenuous especially for working class individual who may need 2 days off from work.
  • The sensitivity nature of INEC limits collaboration from partners.
  • Some of the INEC staff were seen shouting on the electorates.
  • The issue of multiple registration by electorates as some were not ready to go through the bureaucracy of writing for either loss of voters card or change of name/ location.
  • The team sighted many malfunction laptops at the INEC headquarters.

Next Steps

  1. Follow up visit to INEC Akwa Ibom State headquarters office to collect the ward registration schedule.
  2. Review report with State and Governance SI4DEV groups.
  3. Continuous Voters Awareness

14 thoughts on “Visit to Independent National Electoral Commission, Akwa Ibom State”

  1. This deplorable situation as seen in INEC office cut across every part of the country. A clarion call to every Active citizen, philantropist, civil society organizations and Government parastatals to fix this.

Leave a Reply