Yiaga Africa expresses concerns over ongoing voter registration exercise

CIVIL society organisation (CSO) Yiaga Africa has raised concerns over challenges observed in the first and second week of the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration (CVR), which began with online pre-registration in June.

In a statement sent to The ICIR on Wednesday, the organisation listed the registration of ineligible citizens as voters and the restriction of movement across certain LGAs in some states among the problems observed during the exercise.

“Observers reported the registration of under-aged citizens as prospective voters on July 29 in Langtang North LGA in Plateau State and Madobi and Kano Municipal LGAs in Kano state,” it read.

Yiaga also observed that the voters’ enrolment device used by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) created some challenges as some operatives could not access the device due to password issues.

Malfunctioning of the device and slow internet connectivity were some of the problems detected by the observers during the registration process.

“While the situation improved in the second week of observation, network challenges were still experienced in some centres in Kano, Plateau, Rivers, Adamawa, Lagos and Anambra States. Specifically, in Eti-osa in Lagos State, Njikoka in Anambra State and Ikwerre in Rivers State, the IVED had to be replaced,” it read.

The organisation also reported the low turn-out of political parties and the absence of party agents in the registration centres.

Yiaga Africa had earlier commended the INEC on the progress observed during the registration, including the early commencement of the registration process in centres visited, participation of persons with disabilities in the process, and the deployment of a gender-balanced team by INEC.

The organisation, therefore, urged INEC to ensure proper supervision of the process and probe the registration of under-aged citizens.






     

     

    Yiaga Africa also suggested more cooperation between INEC and security agencies and called on political parties to ensure the deployment of their agents to the registration centres.

    “Finally, Yiaga Africa calls on Nigerians to take advantage of the Continuous Voters Registration exercise, register to vote and ensure their data is properly captured in the voter register for their Permanent voter’s card (PVC) to be produced before the next elections,” it read.

    INEC had commenced physical registration of voters on Monday, July 26.

    The commission had announced that 66 per cent of people registered online were youths between the ages of 18 and 34.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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