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INEC Resumes Voter Registration May 27

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Ahead of the September 21 and November 16 Edo and Ondo governorship elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will resume the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise in the two states from May 27 to June 5, 2024.

The CVR exercise in both states will take place simultaneously between 9.00am and 3.00pm daily including the weekend.

The INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this at the second regular quarterly consultative meeting with political parties in at the commission's headquarters in Abuja yesterday.

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Yakubu said the CVR will enable eligible citizens who are not registered voters to do so. He said it will also enable registered voters 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. 

He reiterated that the CVR is only open to new registrants and those who seek to transfer their registration, saying persons who are registered as voters should not attempt to register again as double or multiple registration is illegal.

While he noted that lost or damaged voters' cards will be replaced during the exercise, he noted that it does not require fresh registration. 

The INEC chairman said registration will be conducted at the Ward level and its state headquarters and not at the local government offices and a few designated centres as was done 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 constraint. Each centre will be managed by two officials drawn from our regular staff and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). In the next few days, the Commission will 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 included in your folders for this meeting. The same information will be uploaded to our website and social media platforms for public information shortly.

“The Commission therefore appeals to political parties and other stakeholders to join us 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,” Yakubu.

In the course of the CVR exercise, the commission will make available the uncollected Permanent Voters' Cards (PVCs) for collection, the INEC chairman said.

He said in the coming days, the list of uncollected PVCs will be published in INEC's offices in the two states and simultaneously uploaded to its website. He encouraged those who have not collected their cards in the two States to seize the opportunity to do so.

Giving updates on Edo guber polls, Yakubu said campaign in public by political parties had commenced on April 24 and will end at midnight of September 19, 2024, being 24 hours before the date fixed for the election as provided by law. 

He therefore, reiterated to party leaders the need to continue to maintain law and order during the electioneering process and beyond while political parties should adhere strictly to the timeline for the upload of the list of polling and collation agents to the dedicated portal. 

Yakubu said 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.

For Ondo State, he said 18 political parties have conducted primaries monitored by the Commission and they have one week to the deadline for the nomination of candidates which is 6.00pm on Monday, May 20, 2024 when the portal automatically shuts down and urged them you to adhere strictly to the deadline as there will be no extension of time.

The of History and International Studies said, INEC is remobilising to conclude the outstanding re-run elections for State Assembly constituencies in Enugu and Kano States, disrupted by violence and thuggery during the bye-elections and re-run elections held on 3rd February, following the recent conclusion of consultations with stakeholders in the two States.

He disclosed that vacancies exist in National and State Assemblies, caused by either death or resignation of Members in three states and one federal constituencies across the country.

Yakubu said as soon as preparations are concluded, the Commission will announce the dates for bye-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.

In his remarks, the National Chairman of Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Yusuf Dantalle condemned in strong terms, politics of bitterness, do-or-die politics and divisive politics that have tendencies of undermining Nigeria's emerging democracy.

Dantalle harped on the need to restore annual grant to political parties that was expunged from the constitution by the National Assembly.

He also said, IPAC has set up its Constitution and Electoral Act Amendments Committee that will recommend aspects of the laws that need to be reviewed, and presented to the National Assembly for consideration.

“Frequent cross carpeting by national and state legislators is inimical to sustainable democracy. It is the remote cause of crisis in political parties and State Houses of Assembly, particularly when legislators decamp with impunity without cogent reasons. This must stop.

“Electoral Offences Commission is critical in the effort to sanitise our electoral process. The rate of electoral offences is alarming. It builds distrust and questions the integrity of elections.. Offenders must be duly punished to serve as a deterrence to others.

“All eyes are on INEC to conduct free, fair, credible, acceptable and inclusive elections. With adequate preparation, functional BVAS and capacity to upload results in real time on its IReV portals, Nigerians will once more have confidence in the electoral system where every vote will be counted and count in the overall result.  

“Our commitment in deepening democracy in Nigeria will yet again be tested in the Edo and Ondo gubernatorial elections. We are all in it together for successful elections,” Dantalle added. 

 


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