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General News of Thursday, 16 June 2022

Source: www.thisdaylive.com

House urges INEC to extend voters' registration deadline by 60 days

House of Representatives House of Representatives

The House of Representatives has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the voter’s registration deadline by 60 days, from June 30, 2022, to enable eligible Nigerians register.

The House also mandated its Committee on Electoral Matters to engage INEC to examine and proffer solutions to the shortage of registration machines and manpower as well as to deploy an additional 30 voter registration machines in each local government area, train and deploy ad-hoc staff to improve the shortage of manpower at registration centres, provide security for the Ad-hoc staff and report back within two weeks.

These resolutions followed the adoption of a motion on the need for ‘INEC to Extend the Deadline of Continuous Voters Registration, Deploy additional Staff and Voters Registration Machines Across

the Country,’ moved by Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu at plenary presided by the speaker of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila yesterday.

Kalu noted that the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) by INEC was scheduled to end on June 30, 2022, ahead of the 2023 general elections.

He added that the decision to suspend the voter’s registration was in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 which requires INEC to suspend voters’ registration at least 60 days before an election.

He recalled that in April 2022, INEC declared that about 42 per cent of the voter registrations recorded since the commencement of Continuous Voters Registration on 28 June 2021 were invalid with about 20 million unclaimed PVCs.

Kalu stated that reports of shortages of voter registration machines, inadequate manpower and personnel at registration centres may lead to frustrations among prospective registrants and in some cases, unrest at some registration centres.

He expressed concerns over calls from concerned citizens and civil societies, urging INEC to extend the voters’ registration deadline to accommodate eligible voters desiring to register for their PVC.

“The right to vote is critically important to the health and legitimacy of our democracy, as well as electoral integrity.

“If nothing is done to improve the shortage of voter registration equipment and extend the deadline for voter’s registration, millions of Nigerians will be disenfranchised thus jeopardising the integrity of the 2023 general elections,” he added.

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