By Yomi Kareem
Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has disclosed that it will suspend the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration, CVR exercise, on the 30th of June 2022, ahead of the 2023 general election, so as to enable the Commission to clean up the registration data.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made this known on Wednesday, during the second regular quarterly Consultative meeting with the Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, at the Commission’s headquarters Abuja.
According to Prof. Yakubu; “As you are aware, the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration, CVR, exercise ends next month i.e. 30th June 2022. Both the online pre-registration as well as the physical registration at designated centres are taking place simultaneously. However, online pre-registrants would require time to schedule appointments to complete their registration physically at designated centers. For this reason, the Commission has decided to suspend the online registration in the next three weeks i.e. 30th May 2022.
“This will enable the online registrants to complete their registration physically at the designated centres before the exercise is suspended on 30th June 2022. This will enable the Commission to clean up the registration data, print the Permanent Voters’ Cards, PVCs and compile the register ahead of the 2023 General Election,” he said.
On the inclusivity of Persons with Disabilities, PWDs, in the electoral process, the INEC boss said, Section 54(2) of the Electoral Act makes provision for assistive materials for PWDs. And that this is another progressive provision of the new Electoral Act.
He added that the Commission is working together with PWDs to collect disaggregated data that will assist the INEC in optimally deploying the assistive materials. To deepen their collaboration, and that a meeting will be convened as early as next week with the disability community to discuss the implementation of the provisions of the new Electoral Act on inclusivity.
Mrs. Ene Obi, Country Director, Action Aid and Convener Civil Society Situation Room, in her remarks urged INEC and relevant stakeholders to do more on voter education, as voter apathy has been the hallmark of the country’s election in recent times.
She urged INEC to stick to its timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election, “Stick to your rules, this is your independence,” Obi said.