By Gift Olivia Samuel
Ahead of the Anambra State Governorship election set to hold on Saturday 6th November 2021, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has approved the devolution of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) to the 326 Wards in the State.
This, it said, is in order to ensure that fresh voters and those who wish to transfer their registration to Anambra State or from one part of the State to another, are given the opportunity to do so, and to complete the process ahead of the election.
The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, who made this known in a statement on Thursday, noted that the exercise will begin on Monday 30th August, 2021 and end on Sunday 5th September, 2021.
He explained that this is in addition to the existing 21 Local Government Area offices and the State Head office where physical registration is currently taking place, thereby bringing the total number of registration centres in the State to 348.
Okoye also pointed out that , “In compliance with the provision of Section 9(5) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), voter registration shall stop not later than 60 days before an election. This means that the exercise in Anambra State will be suspended by 6th September 2021.
“This will enable the Commission to clean up the data, compile the register, make copies available to political parties, print the Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) for collection by registered voters and prepare two copies of the register for each of the 5,720 polling units ahead of the election”, he said.
Consequently, he said that in addition to the Commission’s Local Government and State offices, those who wish to register in-person or physically can now do so at the Registration Area (Ward) level throughout the State from 30th August to 5th September 2021.
He further stated that, “Those who have done the online pre-registration must also complete the physical registration within those dates if they wish to vote in the forthcoming Governorship election. The Commission will suspend the physical registration of voters in Anambra State from 6th September 2021 until after the Governorship election.
“From the online registration of voters, the Commission has identified 580 pre-registrants who booked for appointment to complete their registration after 5th September 2021. We have contacted each one of them by e-mail and rescheduled them within the dates earmarked for the devolved exercise.
“We have also given them the option to choose another date within that period if the date we proposed is not convenient for them. However, they are at liberty to reschedule for a later date if they do not wish to vote in the November 6th Governorship election”, he noted.
Furthermore, he disclosed that in the Commission’s determination to continue to give Nigerians a pleasant experience during the CVR exercise, INEC is deploying 652 trained staff based on two personnel for each of the 326 wards.
According to him, “In addition, there will be enough voter registration machines and adequate technical support for the duration of the exercise which will be held between 9:00a.m and 3:00p.m daily, including the weekend. Our State office in Anambra has commenced stakeholder engagements and massive publicity for the exercise”.
He urged all Nigerians to cooperate with the Commission for the success of the exercise.