INEC To Resume Voter Registration In Edo, Ondo

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it plans to conduct the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) in Edo and Ondo States from Monday, 27 May to Wednesday, 5 June.

The voter registration exercise comes ahead of the governorship elections slated to hold separately in Edo State on 21 September and in Ondo State on 16 November.

INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said this at the commission’s second regular quarterly consultative meeting with political parties held on Monday in Abuja.

Mr Yakubu said that INEC would also distribute uncollected Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in the two states during the period, advising those who were yet to register or collect their PVCs to use the opportunity to do so.

He said that the resumption of the CVR would also afford registered voters who wanted to transfer their registration from other states to Edo and Ondo.

“Let me reiterate that the CVR is only open to new registrants and those who seek to transfer their registration.

“Persons who are already registered voters should not attempt to register again as that will amount to double or multiple registrations and it is illegal.

“Lost or damaged voters’ cards will be replaced during the exercise but this does not require fresh registration,” he said.

Mr Yakubu said that taking into consideration the limited time to the election, the CVR would take place at ward and state headquarters of INEC instead of the local government offices, and a few designated centres.

“This means that there will be 192 Ward registration centres in Edo and 203 centres in Ondo, in addition to our state offices in Benin City and Akure, making a total of 397 walk-in registration centres in the two states.

“There will be no online pre-registration option in the two states because of time constraints. Each centre will be managed by two officials drawn from our regular staff and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC),’’ he said.

He added that in the next few days, INEC would commence the training of at least 794 officials for the exercise, saying that the locations for the registration centres and other relevant information had been made available to political party leaders.

Mr Yakubu appealed to political parties and other stakeholders to join INEC in mobilising prospective registrants for the exercise, particularly on the need to register early and not wait until the eleventh hour.

He said that INEC plans to publish the list of uncollected PVCs in its offices in the two states and simultaneously uploaded to the commission’s website.

Mr Yakubu appealed to party leaders to continue to play by the rules during the electioneering process and beyond, ahead of the 24 May commencement of electioneering campaign for Edo election.

He also urged them to adhere strictly to the timeline for the upload of the list of polling and collation agents to the INEC dedicated portal.

He said doing so would enable INEC to produce and deliver identity cards in good time for the expected 76,823 polling unit agents and 3,587 ward, local government and state collation agents for the election.

“Turning to Ondo, political parties have just concluded their primaries. Eighteen political parties conducted primaries monitored by the Commission.

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“I wish to remind you that parties have one week to the deadline for the nomination of candidates, which is 6.00pm on Monday May 20, 2024 when the portal automatically shuts down.

“I urge you to adhere strictly to the deadline. Political parties have been given 23 days from the end of primaries to prepare and submit the list of only two candidates (governorship candidate and running mate) to the Commission,’’ Mr Yakubu said.

He said that the commission was remobilising to conduct the two State Assembly constituencies in Enugu and Kano States.

The INEC chairman also said that INEC would soon announce the date for the conduct of by-election into existing vacancies in National and State Assemblies caused by either death or resignation of members in three states constituencies and one federal constituency.

“The constituencies are Khana 2 State Constituency of Rivers State, the Bagwai/Shanono State constituency of Kano State, the Zaria Kewaye State Constituency of Kaduna State and the Garki/Babura Federal Constituency of Jigawa State,’’ he said.

In his remarks, the National Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Yusuf Dantalle, pledged to work with INEC to mobilise voters for the Edo and Ondo governorship election.

“Ahead of the forthcoming Edo and Ondo States governorship elections, it is important that voters are massively mobilised to register and participate in the poll.

“As the umbrella body of all registered political parties in Nigeria, IPAC will spearhead this crucial exercise in collaboration with INEC.

“In previous elections, Council would move to various states, sensitise and mobilise the people on upcoming polls, call for non-violence and urge them to shun vote buying and selling, etc with the limited funds at its disposal,’’ Mr Dantalle said.

(NAN)

 

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