VOTERS’ REGISTRATION: ANIOCHA SOUTH COUNCIL CHAIR URGES INDIGENES TO PARTICIPATE
By Anthony Awunor
Executive Chairman of Aniocha8 South Council, Hon. Pastor Jude Chukwunwike has implored the indigenes of the the local government area to go and register.
Hon Chukwuemeke’s advice is coming, just as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) resumed its Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) on June 28, 2021.
Apart from registering fresh voters, the exercise also provides those who already registered as voters to carry out all other activities, including transfers, correction of personal details and replacement of defaced or damaged Permanent Voters Card (PVC) online.
In a statement issued in Ogwashi-Uku, on Monday by the Executive Chairman, Chukwunwike urged those who are yet to register and obtain their PVR to do so now that INEC has commenced another round of voter registration.
“Registering to vote is not just a civic responsibility but a powerful instrument for deciding the future of Nigeria. This applies especially to the younger generation who have now met the age for registration,” he said.
The council chairman reminded the people that party affiliation is immaterial for the registration.
“I urge all the residents of Aniocha South to come out en mass and register. Obtaining a PVC has nothing to do with party affiliation. It is free and, from the guidelines announced by INEC, it is stress-free now. If we want to ensure that the country is run by competent people in 2023, the process starts now”, Chukwunwike said.
He pledged to provide INEC with necessary logistic support to ensure that the exercise is successful in Aniocha South Council.
He advised those who may have misplaced their PVC, those whose pictures on the voters card are blurred and people whose names were wrongly slept to take advantage of the CVR and obtain a fresh PVC.
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, had in a statement revealed that the online registration for continuous voter registration which began on Monday makes it easier for intending registrants to get registered just by following simple online process of filling the forms and uploading their pictures.
According to INEC, the provision of online registration is as a result of its determination to serve Nigerians better.
“The idea is for intending registrants to commence the process online by filling the forms and uploading their pictures and required documents, and then make an appointment on the web portal for a date and time to visit an INEC State or Local Government Area (LGA) office to give their fingerprints and complete the registration.
“In addition, those who are already registered as voters can carry out all the other activities such as transfers, correction of personal details and replacement of damaged or defaced Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) online. We hope that through this portal, we shall reduce overcrowding at our registration centres, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, make the registration processes generally easier, thereby giving Nigerians a pleasant electoral experience”, Yakubu stated.
The portal went live in the early hours of Monday, 28th June 2021. The INEC boss said the online registration is a public service and free of charge, adding that there is no INEC-approved cybercafe, no online registration centre and no scratch card to be purchased for the exercise.
“All you need is a device, including your mobile phones, that can connect to the internet. Citizens can complete the online pre-registration anywhere and at anytime they choose. Just follow the simple but detailed step-by-step procedure on the portal and contact the INEC Help Desk where necessary. The details are on our website”.
The Commission allayed the fear expressed by some Nigerians that many citizens may be disenfranchised by the new digital arrangement: “The Commission is aware that not all Nigerians have computers, smart phones, access to the internet or residing in urban and sub-urban areas. Some citizens may also have one form of disability or another to make it impossible for them to register online. The Commission is also aware of its responsibility under the law to provide every eligible Nigerian the opportunity to register irrespective of where they live or other circumstances of life”, INEC explained.