Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Nigerians 18 years and above can now register and vote as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed the resumption of nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise for the first quarter of next year.
Acting Chairman of the Commission, AVM Ahmed Mu’azu (retd), made the disclosure in his opening remarks during the virtual meeting with the leadership of political parties at the party’s national headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday.
Appreciating the political parties for the commendable role they played during the recently concluded Edo and Ondo States governorship elections, the acting chairman appealed that they channel all efforts towards adhering to the Commission’s voters code of conduct for elections during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following the fracas that ensued over which leadership of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) that should be given legal recognition by the Commission, the Ag Chairman endorsed the Leanard Nzenwa faction, ignoring the observation and protests from the National Chairman of Labour Party, Abdukadir Abdulsalam.
Addressing the political party leaders that participating in the virtual meeting, AVM Mu’azu said: “The Edo and Ondo States governorship elections have come and gone. They were acclaimed as credible and peaceful.
“The Commission sincerely appreciates the role played by the leadership of political parties and their candidates towards ensuring that the elections were generally peaceful and safe within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“All your efforts, including the signing and keeping to the letter and spirit of the Peace Accord and adherence to the Commission’s voters code of conduct for elections during the COVID-19 pandemic is fully acknowledged.
“Nevertheless, the Commission feels that there is room for improvement. We would therefore welcome your feedback on the conduct of the elections,” he noted.
Announcing the commencement of the CVR, the Ag Chairman said: “On the CVR, the Commission intends to roll out the nationwide programme in the first quarter of 2021 and work is in progress towards that goal. We need your inputs to guarantee its smooth take-off and hitch-free conduct of the exercise.”
On the leadership of IPAC, he said: “Let me resolve this issue once and for all. We have been working with the Ezenwa leadership and for the purpose of this meeting, I appealed we continue with them. We can revisit at a later date.”
In his keynote address, Ezenwa had commended the reappointment of Prof Mahmood Yakubu by President Muhammadu Buhari, pledging a harmonious working relationship.