The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has solicited media support towards the successful take-off of its Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) on June 28.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said this at the second quarterly consultative meeting of the commission with media executives on Monday in Abuja.
Yakubu said the support was critical for the success of the programme.
“The expansion of voters’ access to polling units has prepared the ground for the discharge of another important responsibility of the commission.
“The registration of eligible Nigerians as voters is one of the immediate task before the commission.
“Consequently, in the next one week, that is Monday June 28, the commission will resume the CVR nationwide.
“In doing so, the commission is introducing a portal to enable eligible Nigerians to commence registration as voters online, before completing the exercise physically at designated centres nationwide,” he said.
Yakubu added: “This is the first time a major exercise of this nature being handled partially online consistent with the commission’s commitment to continue to deepen the use of technology in the electoral process in Nigeria.
“Just like the expansion of voter access to polling units, the commission appeals to the media for support, so that this novel idea will also be successful.’’
He said the commission intended to undertake the CVR for at least one year, adding that the success of the exercise depended to a considerable extent on citizens’ awareness through voter education.
“There will be new registrants, requests for intra-state and inter-state transfers as well as the replacement of voters’ cards as provided by law.
“Furthermore, with the relocation of voting points to underserved areas as autonomous polling units, there is need for massive publicity so that citizens are familiar with their voting locations well ahead of all forthcoming elections.
“We appeal for your partnership to achieve this goal,” Yakubu said.
The INEC chairman commended the media for its numerous support, especially on the conversion of voting points to polling units in Nigeria which was increased from 119,974 to 176,846.
Yakubu also briefed the media executives about INEC preparations for the Nov. 6, Anambra governorship election as well as the Feb. 12, 2022, FCT Area Councils election.
“We are making speedy progress for the Anambra governorship election.
“I know we have suffered a lot of attacks on our facilities, but we are working towards the success of the exercise,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the commission demonstrated at the meeting the procedure for the proposed online registration.
The new INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED) was also unveiled at the event.
Mr Chris Isiguzo, President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), pledged the media’s continued support for INEC, especially on the CVR and other activities geared towards deepening the electoral process.
Isiguzo expressed happiness that media engagements with INEC were yielding positive results, especially on the expansion of voters’ access to poling units.
“We have this belief that we don’t have any other country we can call our own. Nigeria is the only country we have.
“It is an onerous responsibility reposed on us to ensure that we help in building the country of our dream.
“We will not continue to throw stones, apportion blames. It is also incumbent on us to come up with workable solutions at all times,” Isiguzo said.
He commended INEC for working towards digitalisation of the electoral process in Nigeria.
“I believe by the time this process is effectively deepened such issues or vices that have always being major challenges to the delivery of credible election would have given way.
“By the time most of these activities take place online, we will have substantially addressed our problems,” he said.
Isiguzo expressed optimism that once the country got the electoral act right, major challenges of the electoral process would have been addressed.
He also advised INEC to use the off season election to cement the electoral process ahead of the 2023 general election.