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CVR: INEC Blames Nigerians Seeking Extension For Failed Registrations Of 7 Million

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The Independent National Electoral Commission has clarified reports about its disenfranchisement of seven million Nigerians, in the aftermath of the closure of the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR).

Festus Okoye, the INEC Commissioner for Voter Education, who issued a statement on Monday, in order to clarify the situation, noted that a number of Nigerian seeking eleventh hour extension, failed to complete the registration process.

According to him, Nigerians were given enough time to complete their registrations noting that the deployment of technologies was to ease the registration process.

Over the weekend, 24 Nigerians filed a lawsuit against the Commission for “failing to give them and other seven million Nigerians adequate time and opportunity to complete their voter registration after they had carried out their registration online.”

The Plaintiffs who are suing for themselves and on behalf of seven million other Nigerians want to “complete the registration process, so that they can obtain their permanent voter cards (PVCs), and exercise their right to vote.”

INEC recently disclosed that out of 10,487,972 Nigerians who carried out their pre-registration online, only 3,444,378 completed the process at a physical centre. This represents just 32.8 percent of completed online registration.

However, Okoye stated that the reports about the alleged disenfranchisement of seven million Nigerians was “misleading.”

“The attention of the Commission has been drawn to media reports that some seven million Nigerians who applied for online pre-registration as voters during the last nationwide Continuous Voter Registration were denied the opportunity to complete their registration and consequently the collection of their Permanent Voters Cards. This claim is misleading.

“To set the record straight, Nigerians may recall that on 28th June 2021, the Commission introduced the online pre-registration of voters. By doing so, citizens were given the opportunity to commence the registration online and then book an appointment at their convenience to complete the physical Biometric Capture at designated centres. It was a novel idea leveraging technology to ease the registration process. This was in addition to the walk-in option at physical centres, where Nigerians can commence and complete their registration simultaneously without going through the online pre-registration procedure.

“In the interest of transparency, the Commission provided weekly statistical updates on the exercise.

“For the online pre-registration, a total 10,487,972 commenced the process. However, by the deadline of the exercise, 3,444,378 Nigerians completed their pre-registration physically at the designated centres in line with the Commission’s policy. Some 7,043,594 applicants did not complete the registration. Again, the Commission made the information public. This is what some people are now using to say that they were denied the opportunity when in reality they failed to either complete the online enrolment or appear physically at the designated centres to complete the process.”

He further stressed, “A breakdown of the 7,043,594 incomplete online pre-registrations is as follows: 4,161,775 citizens attempted but either did not complete online pre-registration or abandoned it and went for the physical registration instead.

“2,881,819 registrants completed the online pre-registration but did not show up to complete the physical Biometric Capture at designated centres before the deadline.

“Therefore, it is clear that no Nigerians were deliberately denied the opportunity to complete their online pre-registration.

“We appeal to citizens to always adhere to timelines as against the endless agitation for eleventh hour extension of set deadlines.”


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