INEC deadline: Seven million Nigerians on risk of disenfranchisement over uncompleted registration



…Only 12,298,944 Nigerians completed registration into CVR — INEC

….As SERAP kicks

By Moses Adeniyi

No less than seven million (7,000,000) Nigerians, who commenced the registration process into the Continuous Voter Registration exercise (CVR)  but were unable to complete their registrations, risk being disenfranchised, should the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) stand by its deadline which closed registration process on Sunday, the 31st of July, 2022.

While there have been resounding calls on INEC on the need to discontinue its deadline to permit the large population falling under the uncompleted voters registration from being disenfranchised, INEC is yet to disclose its stand on such calls.

The Commission, on Tuesday, disclosed that over seven million Nigerians who carried out their voter pre-registration online could not, at the close of the deadline on Sunday, complete the process at physical centres.

Recall that the commission, in June 2021, commenced the CVR exercise via its online portal, where Nigerians provided their biodata and required documents, after which applicants would visit INEC designated centres to complete the process physically, with a biometric capturing.

According to a report released by the commission, 10,487,972 Nigerians carried out their pre-registration online.

The Commission stated that only 3,444,378 Nigerians representing 32.8 percent, completed the process at a physical centre.

The 7,043,594 persons accounted for over 67 percent of those who began their registration process online, but could not obtain a voter card, which implied that they will not be able to vote in the 2023 general elections.

Meanwhile, INEC said a total of 12,298,944 Nigerians completed their voter registration; 8,854,566 of which were persons who did their registration entirely at a physical centre.

Considering the huge deficits, stakeholders have expressed likelihood of an extension as the Commission had earlier did, after prevailing calls.

Recall that INEC had initially fixed June 30 as the deadline for the CVR ahead of the 2023 elections, but extended it till July after a federal high court in Abuja stopped the commission from ending the voter registration.

In reaction to the most recent deadline,  The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has again made a case for the need to discontinue the deadline which would leave over seven million Nigerians, who had shown interest through their voter pre-registration online process out of the scheme.

In a statement issued on Tuesday via its verified Twitter handle, SERAP maintained that the Commission must urgently allow the applicants complete their registration so that they can vote in the 2023 elections.

The Commission’s offices across the Country had been flooded by prospective Nigerians who are desirous of completing the registration process  few days to Sunday when it closed the registration process.

However, Nigerian NewsDirect found out from official sources that the reason for the closure was to permit INEC ample time to process the data of voters which have been collated for a reliable database for credible preparation towards the General Elections.

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