By Gabriel Ewepu, Abuja
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, an election observer, Yiaga Africa, Tuesday, released a report scoring ongoing Continuous Voter Registration, CVR, exercise by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in 151 centres.
The report made available to Vanguard indicated that there is improvement in the process following the deployment of materials from the first reporting period covering July 26-August 6, 2021.
The report focused on six states in the six geopolitical zones, which include Adamawa, Anambra, Plateau, Kano, Rivers, Lagos, and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
According to the report, Yiaga Africa trained observers and deployed them to the 151 INEC registration centres.
The report, in summary, reads, “With the continuous voter registration (CVR) still ongoing at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Local Government area centres’, Yiaga Africa’s Watching the Vote (WTV) trained observers continued to observe the process in 151 INEC registration centres across the six geo-political zones. This report includes the findings from the observer reports for the period of August 09 to August 27, 2021.
“The findings in this reporting period are based on reports from Yiaga Africa WTV observers reporting from 151 INEC registrations centres across Adamawa, Anambra, Plateau, Kano, Rivers, Lagos, and FCT. Yiaga Africa also received reports from its roving observers from Cross Rivers, Ekiti, Bayelsa & Zamfara States.
“Yiaga Africa observed improvement on deployment from the first reporting period, covering July 26-August 6. This includes compliance to the commencement time of 9:00 am and keeping centres open until all intending registrants on the queue have been attended to.
“Yiaga Africa commends INEC for bringing the CVR process closer to the people in Anambra state by decentralizing the process to Registration Area/Wards in Anambra state from 30 August to 5 September 2021 ahead of the November 6 Governorship election.
“INEC’s data as of 30th August 2021 indicates that a total of 2,485,770 new registrants completed the online pre-registration. While a total of 569,828 registration has completed both the online and in-person (physical) registration, with Anambra State recording a total of 39,428 completed registration.
“This is reasonable progress. However, there is an opportunity for improvement, because in the five weeks of the commencement of the physical (in-person) CVR exercise, only 23% of those who registered online have concluded their voter registration in the INEC designated centres.
“This also indicates that young people are leveraging the online platform as shown by INEC’s data but are not completing the physical registration. There is, therefore, an ardent need for more citizens’ engagement by INEC and stakeholders in mobilizing intending registrants who have completed the online process to ensure they complete the registration at the INEC CVR centres.”
Meanwhile, Yiaga Africa in the report called on Nigerians to take advantage of the ongoing CVR exercise before 2023, especially youths in Anambra to register ahead of November 6 governorship election.
However, the report pointed out that there was the issue of lack of security presence at the registration centres.
“Yiaga Africa still reports the poor deployment of security personnel to the registration centres as shown in Appendix 1 and the near absence of political parties or their agents during this continuous voters registration exercise.
“Yiaga Africa notes that due to security threats in Gusau, Anka, Shinkafi, Zurmi and Bungudu LGAs in Zamfara state, citizens’ turnout to register was low. In Anambra and other states in the South-East, the confusion around the sit-at-home order on Mondays has also impacted on the exercise”, he pointed.