An election observer, Yiaga Africa, Monday, called on eligible Nigerians to avail self of Continuous Voter Registration of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, across the country.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Director of Programmes, Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu, where the organisation acknowledged the innovation by INEC as it will inspire citizens to register based on the introduction of pre-enrollment via INEC’s CVR online portal from June 28, 2021.
According to the statement, “This will be the first time in Nigeria’s electoral process where citizens can commence their voter’s registration from their individual spaces of comfort.
Citizens who complete their pre-enrollment in the online portal will choose an appointment date for their biometric physical capture, which will commence from 19 July 2021 at INEC offices in the States and Local Government Areas (LGAs).
“With the proposals for more technology to be deployed in Nigeria’s election, this CVR process presents an opportunity for the accurate capture of voters’ data and biometrics.
It also creates an opportunity for more eligible voters to commence their registration with ease and hopefully reduce the pressure at the physical centers.
“Voters registration remains a critical exercise in the electoral process as it is the first determinant of who gets to vote in Nigeria.
The right to vote which, gives the people a voice through the ballot, requires citizens to first register as voters. It guarantees the free exercise of the right of citizens to choose their leaders and decide electoral outcomes.
“This CVR exercise presents an opportunity for Nigerians, especially young Nigerians, to exercise their power as the sovereign in a democracy by first registering to vote to harness the people’s power during elections.
The CVR is a prerequisite for participating in elections in Nigeria because only registered voters will be issued the permanent voter’s card (PVC) to vote.
“Registering to vote is both a fundamental human rights issue and a civic responsibility issue. The CVR provides an opportunity to transition from any form of agitation or protest to action, as the election remains the legitimate means of transition of political power in a democracy.”
It also expressed optimism that, “With the introduction of the online pre-registration process, registration centres will be less congested and the CVR process faster and seamless, especially in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hopefully, more eligible voters, especially young Nigerians, will take advantage of this opportunity to register as voters.
“The Continuous Voter’s registration exercise is for citizens who just turned 18 years old or above 18 but have not registered to vote.
The CVR is for: registered voters who lost their PVC or whose PVC’s got damaged to apply for replacement of PVC, voters who had issues during accreditation of voters on election day in previous elections, registered voters who want to transfer their voter’s registration to their current location, voters who wish to correct their details in the voter’s register.
Registered voters who are yet to collect their PVCs can also visit the INEC offices to collect their PVCs.”
Meanwhile, the statement commended the Commission’s paradigm shift in the electoral process to a highly technology-driven one which starts with the voter registration portal.
“Yiaga Africa compliments INEC for improving the technology deployed for voters registration to enable a new generation of Nigerians to register seamlessly to vote.
“We commend Nigerians for remaining patient and waiting for the CVR process to resume. We congratulate Nigeria’s youth for staying resilient and committed to building Nigeria’s democracy. Register today to Vote”, the statement concluded.