11m yet to complete voter registration

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A coalition of over 80 human rights organisations under the aegis of Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, on Wednesday, lamented that 11 million online applicants were left stranded after the deadline for the Continuous Voter Registration lapsed on Sunday.

This is even as the CSOs pleaded with the Independent National Electoral Commission to extend the CVR to accommodate more voters for a window period of one month.

Many Nigerians, who could not register in the continuous voter registration, have expressed frustration over the refusal of the commission to extend the exercise.

The stranded applicants, in separate interviews, had knocked INEC for stopping the CVR, which began the nationwide registration in June 2021 describing it as a subtle way to disenfranchise them.


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The electoral body had initially planned to terminate the CVR on June 30  but another civil society group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, on June 5, filed a suit at the Federal High Court, seeking an extension of the exercise beyond that date.

Consequently, Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon, on June 20, granted an order of interim injunction stopping INEC from stopping the registration exercise.

In compliance with the order, the electoral body extended the exercise till July 31.

Despite the extension, hundreds of applicants have continued to besiege registration centres, particularly in Niger, Kano, Lagos, Katsina, Benue, Ogun, Enugu states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to register before the deadline.

Addressing newsmen on Wednesday, the Convener of Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, Ene Obi, disclosed that it would be unfair for  INEC to disenfranchise over 11 million Nigerians who rushed to apply online but could not complete the physical registration.

She said, “The Nigeria Civil Society is advocating and appealing to INEC to reopen the CVR because the rush will tell you that a lot more people wants to register. We don’t want to shut down their enthusiasm. It is therefore important to reopen it, even if it is going to be for one month, and make it less stressful.

“There are reports of people queuing up for a day to a whole week and still end up not getting registered. We can make this less stressful in terms of registration processes.

“More than 11 million applicants who completed their forms online were unable to complete their registration. That means you are losing 11 million electorate. That’s whopping! INEC should address it. Why are they unable to allow them complete the task? It is even a subject for study.

“You will find out that everything is online now and with speed, so many millions can register at one go. But they are not able to be on the queue. We are urging INEC to reopen the process for more Nigerians to register even if it is just for a window of one month.”

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