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2023: Go for voter registration, YIAGA begs Nigerians

Voter registration remains a critical exercise in the electoral process as it is the first determinant of who gets to vote in Nigeria.

As the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) resumes the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR), the Yiaga Africa, a civil society organisation, has urged Nigerians and first-time voters to register to deepen democracy in the country.

The Director of Programs, Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu, made the plea on Monday in Abuja.

According to her, with the online pre-registration process and to inspire citizens to register as voters, INEC introduced the pre-enrolment via INEC’s CVR online portal from June 28, 2021 for the benefit of Nigerians.

She noted that 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-enrolment 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 centres,” Mbamalu said.

She also said that voter registration remains a critical exercise in the electoral process as it is the first determinant of who gets to vote in Nigeria.

She said, “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. 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.”

She expressed hope that more eligible voters, especially young Nigerians, will take advantage of this opportunity to register as voters.

She also commended INEC for improving the technology deployed for voters’ registration to enable a new generation of Nigerians to register seamlessly to vote and also commended Nigerians for remaining patient and waiting for the CVR process to resume.

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