The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has pleased with the media to escalate the sensitisation campaign to Nigerians against double or multiple registration in the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration (CVR).
INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, made the appeal at the quarterly consultative meeting with media organisations at the Commission’s office in Abuja on Friday.
The electoral umpire boss equally disclosed that the 18 registered political parties have given it notice for conduct of their primaries for the June 18 Ekiti State governorship election.
“There is a lot of information for public enlightenment and sensitization. We seek for the support of media organisations in this regard.
“Related to the issue of voter registration is the issuance of PVCs. We are aware that Nigerians want to know when their PVCs will be available for collection. We appreciate the role of media organisations in encouraging and mobilizing eligible Nigerians who have not registered to do so. At the same time, we want you to continue to sensitise them that those who had registered at any time previously need not register again.
“For those who have completed the registration, the Commission is right now undertaking the most comprehensive cleaning up of the data to ensure that only eligible citizens are added to the voters’ register for the 2023 General Election. We will share our findings with Nigerians very soon. The actual dates for the collection of the PVCs nationwide will also be announced very soon.
“In the next 23 days, February 12, 2022, a major end of tenure election will hold in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to elect 6 Area Council Chairmen/Chairwomen and 62 Councillors. This will be followed by two governorship elections in Ekiti State on June 18, 2022 and Osun State on July 16, 2022,” the commission noted.
Giving update on the Ekiti governorship polls, Prof Mahmood said: “Party primaries for the Ekiti State governorship election are scheduled for January 4–29, 2022. For the Osun State governorship election, primaries will hold from to March 12, 2022.
“In the case of Ekiti State, all the 18 political parties have indicated their intention to participate in the election and have already served the mandatory notices for their primaries to elect their candidates as required by law. The Commission’s preparation for the three off-cycles elections is one of the issues for discussion at this meeting.
“In addition to the end of tenure elections, six bye-elections are scheduled to hold on Saturday February 26, 2022 in Cross River, Imo, Ondo and Plateau States.
While commenting on the February 12 Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council Election, he expressed disappointment that high percentage of the Polling Units do not have voters.
“I also want to draw your attention to the distribution of voters to Polling Units in the FCT, particularly the fact that 593 out of 2,822 (or 21 per cent) of the total, do not have voters. This is because voters failed to take advantage of the expansion of access to transfer to these new Polling Units. The list of Polling Units having 0 – 50 registered voters in the FCT is among the documents in your folders for this meeting.
“The Commission looks forward to the support of media organisations to encourage voters who wish to transfer from their present Polling Units to new ones created as part of the Commission’s expansion of access polling units across the country.
“After all, your support was crucial to the success of the recent expansion of voter access to polling units for the first time in 25 years since the initial delimitation in 1996.
“For emphasis, the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) will be deployed in the FCT elections which is the second major election after the Anambra Governorship election held in November last year.
“The 68 constituencies cover extensive urban and rural locations sharing border with five States in the North Central and North Western parts of the country. This is yet another opportunity to pilot the efficacy of the BVAS in a different geographical, geopolitical and electoral context.
“The same technology will be deployed in all forthcoming elections across the country. Similarly, for all elections going forward, Polling Unit results will be uploaded in real-time on the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal,” the Commission’s boss said.