The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said, on Wednesday, that it had suspended the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) in some communities in Bassa and Dekina local government areas of Kogi State.
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. James Apam, who announced this at a news conference, in Lokoja, blamed the development on persistent violent communal clashes in the affected communities.
Apam also disclosed that the commission has had cause to suspend the exercise in Omala Local Government Area sometime this year for a similar reason.
He said that the communities where the exercise is being put on hold were unsafe for now for INEC staff to work there.
“We believe that the security agencies and traditional rulers are aware of these security breaches and are taking steps to bring them to an end,” Apam said.
According to him, a quick return of normalcy to the communities will enable INEC officials to go and capture the particulars of eligible voters and replace lost voters cards of those affected.
However, the Commissioner said that 245,195 new voters have been registered in the state since the commencement of the CVR in April last year.
Apam said that the new registrants were made up of123, 877 males and 121, 318 females, while the commission had also treated 9,774 applications for transfer and 12,123 cases of damaged or defaced permanent voter cards.
The REC further explained that 59, 078 voter cards had been issued to those who registered before the 2015 general elections, saying that 200,429 cards were still lying uncollected.
He said that the office had taken delivery of newly printed 112, 333 permanent voter cards, stating that the cards were for those who registered freshly and those who applied for inter-state transfer of their cards from April to December 2017.
Apam, however, lamented that only 7,943 of the newly printed 112,333 voter cards had been collected as at June 12, appealing to all traditional rulers, press and registered political parties to assist in mobilising Nigerians to come out for their cards.
He also said that INEC was making arrangements to take the issuance of the permanent voter cards closer to the people and gave assurances that all those who registered and applied for transfer in 2018 will be issued their cards very soon.