As part of their civic responsibilities to Ibeno Local Government Area, stakeholders and opinion makers in the area have resolved to mobilize citizens of voting age to fully participate in the ongoing Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise.
They made this known on Thursday, August 5, 2021, at the Ulok Ulok Hall, Ibeno Council Secretariat, Upenekang, during a Stakeholders’ meeting on the sensitization of voters on CVR exercise convened by the commission.
Speaking at the meeting, Chairman of Ibeno Local Government Council, High Chief Williams Mkpah, who was represented by the Vice Chairman, Mrs. Ethel Ifum Henry, said that the local government area has the political strength to exist as a sole state constituency if the opportunity before her through the CVR is maximized.
The Chairman said the stakeholders will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that proper and strategic voter education is given to the people of the area for their political future.
He commended INEC for enlightening and engaging the stakeholders and called on the people to support the Commission in mobilizing their wards, particularly those of voting age, to participate in the CVR exercise.
In his remark, a former Council Chairman of the area, Hon. Sunday Isokobo, said “I am very grateful to INEC for the CVR exercise at a time like this. I want to remind all stakeholders present here that we owe ourselves the duty of educating our people. I am very confident that the fruits of this exercise will aid the development and progress of Ibeno because our people will participate fully.”
Also speaking, another stakeholder and Supervisory Councillor of the area, Hon. Ikpe Ebrewong, hinted that “Ibeno has the political strength to exist solely as a state constituency. What has been the challenge is the people’s lack of interest in political participation. Turnout at today’s meeting is very impressive. The meeting has also broadened our horizon on electoral processes and the future of the Ibeno.”
In an interaction with newsmen shortly after the event, Hon Ikoabasi Uko explained that for an area to be able to attract projects from the state government, it must have a good number of registered voters.
“It is common knowledge that for a community to be able to have the presence of government or attract any incentive from government, such a community should be able to have sufficient number of registered voters or people who are qualified to vote. Ibeno Local Government has more than enough,” he stressed.
Earlier, INEC Electoral Officer in Ibeno, Mr. Ntue, who expressed satisfaction with the massive turnout of people, said he was optimistic that “the meeting would be a boost in the turnout of voters in future.”
He urged participants at the meeting to ensure the message gets to the people at the grassroots.
Also speaking, the Head of Operations of INEC, Barr. Vincent Ogene, charged participants at the event to give premium to discussions at the event, maintaining that “registration of voters remains the foundation of every electioneering system around the world.”
Some of the stakeholders at the event included the Special Assistant to the Governor on Project Monitoring, Hon. Ekoakwaha Etteh; Secretary of Ibeno Local Government Council, Mr. Johnson Ukaulo; Hon. Henry Ekpe-Nko; Pharmacist Ukpong Okon; Elder Utip Ekong; Ibeno Chapter Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Elder Emmanuel Akpan; Hon. Enyina Hekins; State Officer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mrs. Grace Ekpe-Nko, Ibeno PDP Chapter Chairman, Hon. Emah Ibok; Obong Smith Udoeka; elder Eshiet Okpo Eshiet; Hon. Willie Ukochio, Councillors and Supervisors, among others.