By Nuel Suji – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says all is set to commence the nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) across the 774 Local Government Areas in the country on April 27.
INEC Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi who spoke to journalists in Abuja, said necessary logistics had been deployed for the commencement of the exercise as scheduled.
“The required personnel and materials for the exercise have been deployed. We have also trained our personnel who are going to be at our various LGA offices.
“We have tested and deployed our Direct Data Capturing Machine (DDCM) for the exercise to take off nationwide.
According to him, National Commissioners have gone out to their respective zones to monitor and flag off the registration, while the chairman will be flagging off the exercise in Abuja.
Osaze-Uzzi reiterated that the exercise would take place at INEC Local Government offices on working days of the weeks from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., pending when the review of the exercise.
“For now, it will be at INEC local government offices. People can walk into our LG offices at their convenience, but as time goes on, we may decentralize the exercise,’’ he said.
The director advised those who are yet to register for their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) to use the opportunity to do so.
“We have listened to complaints by some people on their inability to register during the previous exercise. This time, we have worked toward addressing them.
“For those who have not collected their PVC, they should know that without PVCs they cannot vote,’’ he warned.
Osaze-Uzzi said it was when people have their PVCs to vote, they could influence politics and development positively.
“If you refuse to vote, then you also lose the moral right to complain about poor infrastructure, power or any other issue because you did not vote,’’ he said.
The director advised people not to wait for the last minute before they go for registration saying that by law, the registration must end at a particular time before election.
Osaze-Uzzi said for those who have lost or damaged their PVC, or wanted to transfer their PVCs should go to the registration centres and inform the officers in charge about what they wanted to do.
He, however, said it was also a criminal offence to register more than once.
“If you have registered before in Sokoto and you go to Rivers state for another registration. It is not allowed.
“If you want to relocate from one place to another, just go and do the transfer,’’ the director said.
Osaze-Uzzi advised those who had registered before but could not obtain their PVCs to go and lodge their complaint before going for new registration.
INEC while confirming that the exercise would remain all year round, said the exercise was meant for the citizens who turned 18 years of age after the last registration exercise; or those who for one reason or another could not register in the previous exercises.
“The 2010 Electoral Act (as amended) mandates the Commission to carry out CVR nationwide and to make available to every political party within 60 days. After each year, the names of the addresses of each person registered during that year” the electoral body clarified.