The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it would suspend the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) on Aug. 17 until after the 2019 general elections.
But going by what is obtainable in some registration centres, many Nigerians will be disenfranchised as they still end up not being able to register after trying for days, given the huge number of people who turn out for the registration. Some even claim they cannot even asses where the registration centres are located. An allegation some staff of INEC refuted.
Soyebi, however, said that the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) would continue until a week to the commencement of general elections, Feb. 16, 2019.
The decision, according to him, was taken following consultative meetings the commission had with major stakeholders in Nigeria in the electoral process.
INEC has within the week met with leaders of Political Parties, the media, Civil Society Organisations and Security Agencies.
He said that the stakeholders stressed the need to comply with statutory timelines and unanimously agreed that sufficient time be given between the capture of data, its processing and the production of the PVCs.
“Given the activities necessary for this, the commission, acting on the recommendation of the stakeholders has decided to suspend the ongoing CVR at 3p.m on Friday, August 17, until after the general elections.
“The collection of PVCs will, however, continue until a week to the commencement of general elections on Feb. 16, 2019,” he added.
He said that the Commission would overhaul and intensify its publicity initiatives to ensure that all qualified Nigerians who wish to register were able to do so and collect their PVCs before the general elections.
This, according to him, was in consonance with INEC policy and advice of all the stakeholders.
The commissioner appealed to all citizens for cooperation and understanding.
“The stakeholders enjoined INEC to continue to do more to ensure free, fair and credible elections,” he said.
Soyebi noted that some of the issues discussed during the consultative meetings include matters arising from the collection and alleged cloning of PVCs.
He explained that other issue discussed was INEC’s preparations for Ekiti and Osun Governorship Elections as well as for the 2019 general elections.