By Gift Olivia Samuel The Sight News
ABUJA: The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed Monday, June 28, 2021 as the date for the recommencement of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise nationwide.
This is just as it noted, that the CVR exercise will commence nationwide and carried out continuously for over a year until the third quarter of 2022, with emphasis on Anambra State, where more centres will be established in view of the Governorship election already scheduled for Saturday, November 6, 2021.
The INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu who made these known at a Press conference in Abuja on Thursday, said that in order to complete preparations for the Anambra state Governorship election, the CVR exercise in the State will be temporarily suspended in August 2021, to enable the Commission clean up the data for the State and print the PVCs for registrants.
He listed critical activities to be accomplished within the timelines leading to the recommencement of the exercise to include; Expansion of voter access to Polling Units – 11th May 2021; Building and testing the online registration Portal – 15th May 2021; Arrival of the new generation of registration devices – the IVED – 31st May 2021; Recruitment and training of Voter Enrolment Staff – 14th June 2021; and Restart of CVR – 28th June 2021.
Yakubu, who noted that the Commission promised the nation that it would recommence the CVR in the first quarter of 2021 but failed to do so, said the three cardinal reasons why the exercise could not start earlier were; The establishment of new systems that would ensure safer CVR exercise in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic; The Commission’s determination to expand voter access to Polling Units; and The decision of the Commission to introduce a new voter registration equipment and technology.
He further stated that as time goes on, the Commission will provide more details on the CVR exercise, particularly the innovations that will ensure a safe and stress-free experience for registrants, adding that INEC will fully consult stakeholders starting after the Easter break.
The INEC Chairman called on all intending registrants, especially those that have turned 18 recently to turn out and register from Monday 28th June 2021.
In his words, “The following categories of Nigerians are particularly encouraged to seize the opportunity of the CVR in order to fulfil the important civic responsibility of voting:
- All Nigerians who are 18 years of age and have never been registered to vote;
- Any registered voter who has had any issue during accreditation at previous elections so that the Commission can rectify the problem;
- All registered voters who wish to transfer their voting locations from the present one to another;
- All registered voters who have lost their PVCs or whose PVCs have been defaced or damaged; and
- All registered voters who wish to correct their information such as misspellings of names, dates of birth etc.
While fielding questions from Journalists on the measures in place to tackle violence in elections, Yakubu said that of all the 25 by-elections since the 2019 general elections, none were as violent as Ekiti State.
According to him, “We will continue to enforce the law as it allows us to do so. We intend to convene meetings with Political Parties immediately after Easter and also Security agencies and we will continue to ensure and strengthen prosecution”.
Speaking on the relevance of the National Identification Number (NIN) to the Continuous Voter Registration, he stated that the NIN is not going to be mandatory for the CVR, adding that the INEC Electoral Act does not make it mandatory.
He, however, appealed to prospective registrants to register only once, as it is an offence to register for the CVR more than once.