Deploys more staff and additional voter registration machines
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has deployed more staff and an additional 209 voter registration machines to the five south eastern states, Lagos and Kano where the demand for the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) is at an historic high. INEC made this known to the public via a press statement released on Friday.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has received reports from our States indicating an unprecedented surge in the number of citizens that wish to register as voters and the challenges they face across the country. In some States, the sudden turnout of prospective registrants is overwhelming.” INEC noted that the rise in demand for PVC made them to deploy additional resources.
Following a meeting of the INEC state commissioners in Abuja on Thursday the decision was taken.
“Consequently, the Commission convened an urgent meeting with all the Resident Electoral Commissioners(RECs) yesterday Thursday 9th June 2022 to review the situation so that eligible Nigerians who wish to register are able to do so. The necessity to urgently deploy more voter enrollment machines to ease the congestion at the registration centres was identified as a priority.”
The electoral commission assured Nigerians that the situation will be monitored and improvements made to ensure every eligible Nigerian is registered. “Every step will be taken and all options will be explored to ensure that eligible Nigerians are given the opportunity to register as voters.”
Many observers note that the appearance of the Labour Party (LP) presidential flag bearer, Peter Obi on the ballot for the 2023 presidential elections has revitalised the Nigerian democratic system. With many Nigerians now knowing that change can come only through the ballot box. Obi had earlier called on INEC to urgently assist prospective voters.
“Information reaching me indicate that voter registration across Nigeria, more so in the South East, is dogged by inertia & bureaucratic bottlenecks. I respectfully call on @inecnigeria to facilitate speedy registration of Nigerians to enable them exercise their voting rights”. His tweet read.
INEC however blamed the surge in demand for PVCs on Nigerians increasing faith in the democratic process. “The sudden surge is an affirmation of the increasing confidence Nigerians have in our electoral process. The Commission will continue to ensure that this confidence is sustained.” Barrister Festus Okoye of the INEC Voter Information committee stressed.
The Continuous Voter Registration ends on June 30.