The Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA-Africa) has called on Nigerians, especially those who just became 18, to seize the golden opportunity provided by Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to register in the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the CVR begins nationwide on Monday, with the online pre-registration process as the first phase.
The Director of Programmes, the YIAGA-Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu in a statement on Monday in Abuja said that the call became imperative because the anticipated CVR remains a critical exercise in the electoral process as it is the first determinant of who gets to vote in Nigeria.
She added that the right to vote which, gave the people a voice through the ballot, required citizens to first register as voters.
She said that it guaranteed the free exercise of the right of citizens to choose their leaders and decide electoral outcomes.
“This CVR exercise presents an opportunity for Nigerians, especially young Nigerians, to exercise their power as the sovereign in a democracy by first registering to vote to harness the people’s power during elections.
“The CVR is a prerequisite for participating in elections in Nigeria because only registered voters will be issued the Permanent Voter Card (PVC) to vote.
“Registering to vote is both a fundamental human rights issue and a civic responsibility issue.
“The CVR provides an opportunity to transition from any form of agitation or protest to action, as the election remains the legitimate means of transition of political power in a democracy.’’
Mbamalu said that to inspire citizens to register as voters, the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) introduced the pre-enrolment via INEC’s CVR online portal from June 28, 2021.
She explained that this would be the first time in Nigeria’s electoral process where citizens could commence their voter’s registration from their individual spaces of comfort.
She said that citizens who completed their pre-enrollment in the online portal would choose an appointment date for their biometric physical capture, which would commence from July 19 2021 at INEC offices in the States and Local Government Areas (LGAs).
She enlightened that with the proposals for more technology to be deployed in Nigeria’s election, the CVR process presented an opportunity for the accurate capture of voters’ data and biometrics.
Mbamalu said that it also created an opportunity for more eligible voters to commence their registration with ease and hopefully reduce the pressure at the physical centres.
She added that with the introduction of the online pre-registration process, registration centres would be less congested and the CVR process would be faster and seamless, especially in the COVID-19 pandemic.
She expressed hope that more eligible voters, especially young Nigerians, would take advantage of the opportunity to register as voters.
She explained that the CRV exercise was for citizens who just turned 18 years old or above 18 but had not registered to vote.
She added that it was also for registered voters who lost their Permanent Voters Card(PVC) or whose PVC’s got damaged to apply for replacement .
Mbamalu said that it was also for voters who had issues during accreditation on election day in previous elections, registered voters who wanted to transfer their voter’s registration to their current location and voters who wished to correct their details in the voter’s register.
She advised that registered voters who were yet to collect their PVCs could also visit the INEC offices to collect their PVCs.
“We commend Nigerians for remaining patient and waiting for the CVR process to resume.
“We congratulate Nigeria’s youth for staying resilient and committed to building Nigeria’s democracy.’’