Situation Room seeks extension of voter registration

The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to extend the Continuous Voter Registration.

As the fourth quarter of the CVR exercise will be coming to an end on 30th June 2022, citizens have intensified their efforts in registering for their Permanent Voter Cards.

Many Nigerians have also requested the INEC to extend the registration to enable them register to obtain a PVC.

A statement signed by the convener, Asmau Joda, and co-conveners of Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, on Friday in Abuja read in part, “Situation Room has received reports of large crowds at the INEC offices across the country, lots of complaints while the pre-registrations were open on the online voters’ portal, that confirmed scheduling was not observed by officers at many INEC offices leading to people being treated as walk-in registrants and asked to queue to supply the same details already provided online.”

It said that registrants had to wait till the last day for registration. People also complained of insufficient manpower and gadgets in INEC offices which hamper the smooth running of the exercise.

It stated that the action had resulted in hesitations and restiveness of citizens loitering to register in long queues.

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It further said that it was anxious that many Nigerians will be deterred and disenfranchised if the exercise continues this way.

Moreover, INEC has yet to reach out to the rustic communities, thereby eliminating citizens who may be a distance away from the INEC LGA offices.

The statement said: “The attention of the Situation Room has been called on several posts by citizens on Twitter reporting the conduct of INEC officials across the country.

“In Amawbia, Awka-South LGA, Anambra State, prospective voters were asked to sweep the INEC office before being attended to or leave if they refused.

“In Nnewi North Local Government, another report states that the sum of 1,000 Naira is being collected for voter registration. In Aba North LGA, workers have not been to work for four months.

“Situation Room calls on INEC to check the conduct of their staff nationwide, properly coordinate the ongoing voter registration exercise and restrain the chaotic situation in many registration centres nationwide.

“If the process is managed properly and seamlessly, every eligible citizen will be captured. Section 9(6) of the Electoral Act 2022 which allows for voter registration to go on till ninety days to the general elections means that INEC still has room to extend the CVR exercise.”

It, therefore, commended the traders in Alaba International Market, Ojo in Lagos State who shut down the market to register for their PVCs and dissipated the hoodlum who came to disrupt the exercise.

It also recommends that citizens should not be liable to this kind of attack in the process of exercising their constitutional right.

They urged the Nigeria Police to examine the incident and make arrest of perpetrators to deter this incident from reccuring in other locations where registrants are compiled.

“Situation Room therefore urges eligible citizens who are yet to register not to be deterred and to take advantage of the ongoing CVR exercise to do so. For those who registered between July 2021 and December 2021, Situation Room calls on them to go to INEC’s Office at the Local Government Area where their polling unit is located to collect their PVCs,” the statement said. (The Punch)

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