With the continuous voter registration (CVR) still ongoing at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Local Government area centres, Yiaga Africa has raised alarm over poor deployment of security personnel to the registration centres.
Yiaga programme manager, Cynthia Mbamalu who stated this in Abuja, maintained that the body’s observers also reported the near absence of political parties or their agents during the continuous voter’s registration exercise.
Mbamalu noted that due to security threats in Gusau, Anka, Shinkafi, Zurmi, and Bungudu LGAs in Zamfara state, citizens turnout to register was low.
She regretted that, in Anambra and other states in the South-East, the confusion around the sit-at-home order on Mondays have also impacted the exercise.
According to her, the findings in the reporting period are based on reports from Yiaga Africa Watching The Vote (WTV) observers reporting from 151 INEC registrations centres across Adamawa, Anambra, Plateau, Kano, Rivers, Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Mbamalu further disclosed that Yiaga Africa also received reports from its roving observers from Cross Rivers, Ekiti, Bayelsa and Zamfara states respectively.
Disclosing that a total of 569,828 registration have completed both the online and in-person registration, with Anambra state recording a total of 39,428 completed registration, Mbamalu said there is an opportunity for improvement.
She explained: “Because in the five weeks of the commencement of the physical (in-person) CVR exercise, only 23 percent 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.
“We call on citizens to take advantage of the ongoing CVR exercise, especially for young people in Anambra state who will be going to the polls on 6 November 2021 for the governorship election.”
She noted that the body 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.”
She commended INEC for bringing the CVR process closer to the people in Anambra state by decentralising the process to Registration Area/Wards in Anambra state from 30 August to 5 September 2021 ahead of the November 6 Governorship election.
According to her, INEC’s data as of 30th August 2021 indicates that a total of 2,485,770 new registrants completed the online pre-registration.