Voter Registration: Nzuko Umunna Urges INEC to Extend Deadline Beyond June 30

2 years ago
2 mins read

Following the recent upsurge in the number of Nigerians who file out on daily basis for voter registration exercise in different states across Nigeria, Nzuko Umunna, an Igbo think tank socio-cultural organisation, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend their deadline for voter registration so that all eligible Nigerians can get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

The commission had closed its portal for online pre-registration on Monday 30 May, 2022 and plans to suspend other aspects of voter registration on 30 June 2022.

According to INEC, the decision is to enable it clean up and its database and print and distributed PVCs of registered voters ahead of the 2023 general election.

In a press statement on Tuesday morning signed by the Executive Secretary, Nzuko Umunna, Ngozi Odumuko said INEC should consider the prevailing situation of large turnout of Nigerians especially youths at voter registration centres.

It noted with concern that suspending the voter registration exercise when there is large number of unregistered voters means disenfranchisement and such would prevent them from participating in the electoral process.

The group commended individuals and groups who have assisted INEC with logistics and sensitizing the citizens on the need to register and participate during election.

The statement partly reads, “Nzuko Umunna has keenly observed in the past one week the unprecedented turn out of Nigerians especially, the youths in various states across the federation for voter registration. This development is coming after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) suspended its online preregistration on 30th May 2022.
READ ALSO: INEC Deploys Additional 209 Machines To Boost Voter Registration In South-East, Lagos, Kano
“We note that this development is a positive one for our democracy as it signifies increasing interest of the citizens to participate in the electoral process and therefore should be encouraged by the electoral management body and all political stakeholders in the country.

“Nzuko Umunna equally commend various religious, civil society groups and individuals of all works of life who since the voter registration exercise began, have been encouraging the citizens to register and be able to vote during elections. Some churches and other groups have gone further to offer their buildings to INEC to serve as temporal registration centers, while a good number of people in different states have also assisted with logistics to help fasten the registration process for the citizens.

“Sequel to the call by some notable political figures for INEC to make provisions for eligible Nigerians to register, the electoral umpire on Friday 10 June 2022, announced the deployment of additional 209 registration machines to Lagos, Kano and South-East states where according to the commission, it noticed large turnout of unregistered voters for the exercise in recent times. This is also commendable.

“Nzuko Umunna, however, note with concern that with the current turnout of people who want to register in different states, if INEC goes ahead with its plan to suspend voter registration on 30 June, 2022, a lot of the citizens will be left unregistered and therefore, disenfranchised during the 2023 elections.

“We therefore, call on INEC to as a matter of concern extend the deadline for continuous voter registration to enable all eligible Nigerians register and be able to vote during elections.”

The socio-cultural group further urged INEC to make provisions for adequate security in registration centres where hoodlums appear to attack and disrupt the exercise and also ensure that no Nigerian willing to register in any part of the country is denied the opportunity either because their religious or ethnic affiliation.

It also urged the electoral body to deploy more registration machines and personnel in centres with large number of unregistered voters to fasten the process.


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