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INEC To Resume Continuous Voter Registration | Citizen NewsNG

ByCitizen NewsNG

May 14, 2024

Voter Registration Exercise 

 

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is set to resume Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), in preparation for the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states,

The INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this during the second regular quarterly consultative meeting with political parties in Abuja, on Monday, adding that it will commence the CVR from May 27 to June 5, 2024.

Also, Yakubu informed party leaders about vacancies in the national and state Houses of Assemblies due to the death or resignation of members in three states and one federal constituency nationwide.

At the meeting, the INEC chairman also noted that registered voters could transfer their registration from other states across the federation to Edo and Ondo states.

Yakubu also stated that individuals already registered would have the flexibility to relocate their voting credentials within the confines of the two states.

The Edo State governorship election would be held on September 21, 2024, while the Ondo governorship poll would be held on November 16, 2024.

INEC boss said, “As the elections in the two states approach, the commission has decided to resume the Continuous Voter Registration in the two states, to enable eligible citizens who are not registered voters to do so.

“Similarly, registered voters also have the opportunity to transfer their registration from other states of the federation to Edo and Ondo states or from one location to another within the two states.

“Let me reiterate that the CVR is only open to new registrants and those who seek to transfer their registration. Persons who are registered as voters should not attempt to register again as double or multiple registration is illegal.

“Lost or damaged voters’ cards will be replaced during the exercise but this does not require fresh registration.”

Announcing the dates, Yakubu said the CVR in Edo and Ondo states would be held simultaneously from Monday, May 27, to Wednesday, June 5, from 9 am to 3 pm daily, including at the weekend.

Yakubu highlighted the integration of uncollected Permanent Voters’ Cards into the registration process and the establishment of 397 walk-in registration centres to enhance accessibility.

He also noted that to address time constraints ahead of the elections, registration would be held at the ward level and state headquarters, to ensure a more efficient and inclusive process for voters.

Yakubu said, “Taking into consideration the limited time to the governorship elections, the commission has decided to conduct the registration at ward level and our state headquarters, instead of our local government offices and a few designated centres as was the case in the past.

“This means that there will be 192 ward registration centres in Edo State and 203 centres in Ondo State, in addition to our state offices in Benin City and Akure, making a total of 397 walk-in registration centres in the two states.

“There will be no online pre-registration option in the two states because of time constraints. Each centre will be managed by two officials drawn from our regular staff and the National Youth Service Corps.”

He also added that the commission would commence the training of at least 794 officials for the exercise.

“The locations of the registration centres as well as other relevant information have been compiled in a detailed 28-page document, which will be uploaded to our website and social media platforms for public information shortly,” he added.

The INEC chairman then appealed to political parties and other stakeholders “to join in mobilising prospective registrants for the exercise, particularly on the need to register early and not wait until the deadline approaches when the registration centres are inundated by eleventh-hour registrants.”

He further appealed to political parties in Edo State to adhere strictly to the timeline for the upload of the list of polling and collation agents to the dedicated portal, while urging political parties in Ondo State to nominate their candidate within the specified period.

He said, “As we inch closer to Election Day in Edo State, it is also imperative to remind political parties of the need to adhere strictly to the timeline for the upload of the list of polling and collation agents to the dedicated portal.

“Doing so will enable the commission to produce and deliver the identity cards in good time for the expected 76,823 Polling Unit agents and 3,587 ward, local government, and state collation agents for the 17 political parties participating in the election.

“Turning to Ondo State, political parties have just concluded their primaries. Eighteen political parties conducted primaries monitored by the commission. I wish to remind you that parties have one week until the deadline for the nomination of candidates, which is 6:00 pm on May 20, 2024, when the portal automatically shuts down.

“I urge you to adhere strictly to the deadline. Political parties have been given 23 days (over three weeks) from the end of primaries to prepare and submit the list of only two candidates (governorship candidate and running mate) to the commission. There will be no extension of time.”

Speaking on the existing vacancies in National and State Assemblies, Yakuba said the commission would announce the dates for by-elections in the Khana 2 State Constituency of Rivers State, the Bagwai/Shanono State Constituency of Kano State, the Zaria Kewaye State Constituency of Kaduna State and the Garki/Babura Federal Constituency of Jigawa State.

“I would also like to inform party leaders about the existence of vacancies in National and State Assemblies caused by either the death or resignation of honourable members in three states and one federal constituency across the country.

“As soon as preparations are concluded, the commission will announce the dates for by-elections in Khana 2 State Constituency of Rivers State, the Bagwai/Shanono State constituency of Kano State, the Zaria Kewaye State Constituency of Kaduna State, and the Garki/Babura Federal Constituency of Jigawa State,” he said.

Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, Yusuf Dantalle, has stressed the importance of politicians adhering to democratic principles and ethics.

Dantalle, speaking at the meeting, urged political parties to reassess the high expression of interest and nomination fees.

“We condemn in strong terms politics of bitterness, do-or-die, and divisiveness that have tendencies of undermining our emerging democracy.

“More importantly, political parties must adhere strictly to their constitutions in conducting congresses, primaries, and conventions.

“The high expression of interest and nomination fees charged by some political parties should be reviewed despite being internal affairs of the parties.

“IPAC will continue to engage party leaders on this among others to curb the imposition of candidates and boost internal democracy as we strive to make Nigeria better,” he said.

He called for a massive mobilisation of voters in the two states to register and actively participate in the upcoming polls.

“As the umbrella body of all registered political parties in Nigeria, IPAC will spearhead this crucial exercise in collaboration with INEC.

“In previous elections, the council would move to various states, sensitise and mobilise the people on upcoming polls, call for non-violent elections, and urge them to shun vote-buying and selling, etc., with the limited funds at its disposal.

“With the lowest voter turnout in the 2023 general election, so much needs to be done. It is on record that the 2003 general election had the highest voter turnout because INEC released funds in 2002 to political parties to engage in voter education, sensitisation and mobilisation to register and participate in the elections,” he said.

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