Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has explained reasons for the sharp increase in the number of registrants in the ongoing continuous voter registration (CVR) between November 2021 and March 2022 in Ogun.
INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Ogun, Mr Niyi Ijalaye, stated this at a news conference in Abeokuta on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state recorded 22,167 registrants as at November 2021, in the exercise which commenced on June 28, 2021 across the nation.
NAN also reports that Ijalaye had described the figure as “abysmally low”, relative to other states in the South-West zone.
He, however, noted, with delight, that the state had experienced an appreciable increase in the registration between November 2021 and March 2022.
“The registration figure for the state, as at our previous meeting on the CVR in November 2021, was abysmally low.
“Then, it was 22,167, but now, we are at par with other states in the South-West zone. As at March 21, the CVR figure for Ogun is now 85,600,” he said.
Ijalaye attributed the development to renewed and collective efforts of INEC staff members and effective collaborations with stakeholders, particularly media practitioners and leaders of political parties in the state.
He added that the devolution of INEC voter enrolment device (IVED) to the 236 electoral wards in the state was also partly responsible for the sudden rise.
“I wish to appreciate our critical stakeholders, especially leaders of political parties and the members of the press, for collaborating with us in achieving the feat.
“I wish to solicit for your continuous support and collaborations in all our future endeavours,” he said.
Ijalaye explained that the development was a demonstration of INEC’s determination to capture all eligible voters in the state.
NAN reports that the third quarter of the exercise, which commenced on January 3, ended on Tuesday, while the fourth quarter will commence on April 11.
The REC added that the commission would display the register of new voters captured during the third quarter between March 28 and April 1 at INEC local government area offices across the state for claims and objections.
“This is to enable the public assist the commission in identifying ineligible registrants like foreigners and Nigerians who are less than 18 years on the list, and those who might have died before now,” he said.
Ijalaye said that the exercise (display for claims and objections) was aimed at clearing the register before joining fresh registrants to the existing register, ahead of printing of permanent voter cards (PVCs).
He assured that when the fourth quarter of the CVR commenced on April 11, the IVED would be rotated throughout the 236 registration areas, with special attention to the newly-created 1,832 polling units in the state.
“This is to ensure that we maintain and populate the polling units, as the commission may cancel any polling unit with less than 50 registrants,” he said.
NAN reports that leaders of the various political parties at the programme pledged their support for the electoral process, urging the commission to ensure that it remained an unbiased umpire throughout the electoral process. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)