The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reassured Nigerians that no eligible registrant would be left out in the Permanent Voters Card registration exercise.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this on Thursday in Abuja during the commission’s meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs).
The meeting was to review the on-going Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) and the submission of the list of candidates by political parties.
Yakubu recalled that in 2021, the commission resumed the current nationwide CVR exercise with an elaborate calendar of activities spanning over 12 months.
He said that the introduction of the online pre-registration system and the new INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED) helped to reduce the long queues witnessed in previous registration centres in 2017 and 2018.
“We also created additional registration centres and deployed more machines.
“In three states , Anambra, Ekiti and Osun, the exercise was devolved to ward level to give more citizens the opportunity to register ahead of their off-cycle governorship elections.
“Similarly, on weekly basis since July 5, 2021, the commission has been giving weekly detailed updates on fresh registrations nationwide.
“Unfortunately, in some places the exercise was disrupted by general insecurity.
“In other places, our local government area offices were consistently attacked resulting in the suspension of all activities, including voter registration.
“A number of IVED machines were snatched and uncollected PVCs were destroyed.
“Worse, our registration officials were violently attacked. Some of them were abducted but later released. In one sad incident, an official lost his life,” he said.
Yakubu said that in spite these challenges, the CVR had continued nationwide.
He, however, said that as the deadline for the suspension of the current exercise approaches, INEC had received reports of a surge in the number of prospective registrants.
“They daily throng INEC state and local government area offices as well as designated centres in many states across the country.
“I wish to reassure Nigerians that the commission remains committed to ensuring that all citizens who wish to register are given the opportunity to do so.
“This is one of the reasons why this meeting has been convened. Already, some of the RECs have requested for more voter registration machines to ease the congestion.
“The commission will deploy additional machines to areas of need immediately.
“Thereafter, the commission will meet to review the progress of the exercise and take further decisions,” he said.
The chairman said that INEC would always respond positively to the needs of Nigerians and therefore appealed to all citizens to be patient with the commission as it strives to serve them better.
“We appreciate the desire of Nigerians to register as voters. Let me reassure all eligible registrants that no one will be left out,” Yakubu said.