By G9ija

The Lagos Trade Fair Market, with thousands of traders, was shut down on Friday and Saturday to enable people to participate in the Continuous Voter Registration ahead of the 2023 general elections.

However, potential voters who thronged the registration centres expressed having difficulties in getting registered.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the last minute rush that overwhelmed the Independent National Electoral Commission’s capacity, was due to challenges posed by those yet to register to beat the July 31 deadline for the exercise.

Concerns for INEC to extend the closure date of the exercise that began in 2021 gained momentum few months ahead of the election dates.

Ifeanyi Ubaaka, a leader of the Balogun Market at the Lagos Trade Fair Complex, said at the Amuwo Odofin INEC office where there had been a stampede of potential voters trying to get registered, that the complex was shut down on Friday and Saturday to allow people to register for the Permanent Voter Cards..

Ubaaka decried the last minute rush syndrome associated with Nigerians’ way of doing things, especially when it concerned civic duties, adding that the electoral body was not helping matters.

He said: “People from the market have been here as early as 4am with INEC officials coming by noon.

“We made efforts to bring the officials to do it at the market but could not perfect the arrangement; that is why the market was closed to enable traders to get their PVC anywhere they can.”

At the Ojo Barracks centre, close to the market, the difficulties persisted, with long queues and endless waiting to the dismay of people.

Getrude Orji, who was at the venue on Friday without success, said the upsurge of people at the place since the market was closed was unprecedented.

According to her, the electoral body should have provided more machines and officials to attend to people because it took up to 30 minutes to attend to a person.

Orji said that with the snail speed of attending to people, many would not be attended to.

The middle-aged woman, who expressed excitement to vote for the first time, said that bad governance prompted her to opt for voting for a leader of her choice for a better Nigeria.

NAN reports that potential voters were experiencing difficulties in Lagos State such as insufficient number of registration centres, delays in the process and non availability of service network in the system.