The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said that extending the voter registration exercise will delay preparations for the upcoming 2023 general elections.
Mikw Igini, Akwa Ibom’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) made this known during a show monitored by BizWatch Nigeria on Friday.
“Now that we have officially suspended the CVR process, we have to consolidate; aggregate the data and thereafter run the biometric accreditation system to weed out all multiple registrants,” he said.
“Thereafter, Section 19 [Electoral Act 2022] says we must do a one-week display of the voter register for the commission to accept claims; objections as it relates to either omitted names or names of individuals that ought not to be on that register as identified by people in the area.
“And how do you do that? You have to produce the preliminary register of voters for this purpose which means they have to be millions of these would-be voters. That will be posted in the entire wards and local governments of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that is a huge work.”
INEC to distribute PVC
INEC will also produce and distribute the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to the new registrants.
“So, there is a whole lot to be done,” he said, noting that Section 17 of the Electoral Act only mandates the Commission to stop voter registration less than and not exactly 90 days to the election.
Aside from this, he said, “it is not only this that INEC will be doing”.
INEC advises Nigerians
The state’s REC said Nigerians should rather be concerned about voter turnout in the next election despite the outcry that greeted the suspension of the registration.
“What gives spice to the practice of democracy is mass participation,” the INEC official said.