The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) have begun trading words over the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise in Ondo State.
The exercise is strictly meant for eligible voters who are 18 years or older and were not able to register during the last registration in the State, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The CVR exercise started on Wednesday and will end on Sunday, June 26, 2016, the commission has said.
On Friday, controversy surrounding the exercise surfaced when the Ondo State PDP accused members of the APC of carrying out a “parallel” voter registration exercise in all the wards of the State.
Ayo Fadaka, the party’s Director of Publicity made the accusation in a press statement issued from his office in Akure, Ondo State.
Mr. Fadaka said that members of the opposition party are attempting to compromise the November 26, 2016 governorship election in Ondo State.
“We want to bring to the notice of Nigerians that the All Progressives Congress is currently involved in a parallel voters registration exercise.
“Just as INEC is currently executing the same program, essentially to capture our young adults in the Voters’ Register,” he alleged in the statement obtained by a SaharaReporters correspondent.
The PDP spokesperson added that it has now become common in all local governments areas of the State for the opposition party to capture the bio data of voters.
The State Chairman of the opposition APC, Issacs Kekemeke, denied these allegations, saying that the essence of the registration exercise is to update the party’s membership register.
Mr. Kekemeke explained that the APC is only carrying out registration of new party members in order for them to be captured in its database.
“I have no doubt you are aware of the registration exercise of new party members in all the 203 wards of the State.
“Our party in the State has witnessed and continues to witness phenomenal membership growth since the last registration exercise in 2013. It is only fair that these new members of ours are captured by the APC Data Office as duly registered members of our party,” Mr. Kekemeke told SaharaReporters in a reaction to the allegation.
However, Mr. Fadaka asked the electoral umpire and security agencies in the State to call the APC to order because the party’s registration activities could compromise the governorship election.
“We also warn that the APC may be unwittingly sowing a seed of discord in this State if it continues to design programs that are intended to rig elections.
“It just won’t work, as the PDP will do all within its capability to ensure that our elections are free and fair, a word they say is enough for the wise,” Mr. Fadaka’s statement further read in part.