Religious leaders in Cross River have urged the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, to make use of religious places for voter registration.
Reverend Father Ephraim Malachy of the Calabar Catholic Diocese, said this at a meeting the religious leaders held with the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Frankland Briyai.
He said many worshippers have not been captured in the exercise due to time constraint.
“I suggest that one of the ways to ensure that more people are registered is to take the registration to Churches on Sundays.
“There are many people that would not have the chance to register because of their busy schedule but if you come to the Church on Sunday, they would register,” he said.
Malachy also said the Church took the registration seriously by reminding members on the need to be registered.
More so, Muslim cleric, Abdulkadir Bature, said that bringing the registration to Mosques during Juma’at prayers would encourage more people to register.
“Include Mosques and Churches as registration points on Fridays and Sundays so that more people would register.
“It is the best way of making sure that everyone is registered because so many people are not ready to leave their businesses to go and register, but when they see people registering after the Juma’at prayers, they will follow.”
The resident electoral commissioner promised to convey their request to INEC Headquarters for approval.
He said, “I will make a special request for that to my chairman in Abuja and I will give you feedback as soon as possible. It is a good idea but as a commission established by an act of parliament, we have to do everything according to the law.”
He also appealed to the religious leaders to mobilise more followers to participate in the exercise, saying it was the only way people could exercise their rights.