By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says physical registration in the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) will commence on July 19.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu disclosed this at a news conference and launch of online portal for the CVR exercise in Abuja on Thursday.
Yakubu said that while the online registration would commence on June 28 nationwide, physical registration at its local government and states offices would commence on July 19.
The chairman said that the decision was made in consultation with stakeholders in view of security concerns in the country.
He recalled that the commission recently had attacks on its offices across the country, where they were burnt or vandalised.
Yakubu said that clearly, the aim of the attackers was to undermine the commission’s capacity to organise elections and other electoral activities, including the CVR.
“Luckily, only buildings, equipment and materials have been destroyed. Although the attacks have subsided, the commission is still deeply worried by the threat that they can pose to registrants and our staff during the CVR.
“As a result of this profound concern, the commission has made representations to government and had several discussions with stakeholders, including security agencies under the auspices of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), political parties, civil society organisations and the media.
“During these consultations, we shared our plans, hopes and concerns regarding the security threat that we currently face.
“From the consultations, the stakeholders reached a consensus that it is important for the commission to place high premium on securing lives of registrants and staff, as well as the protection of the expensive registration equipment to be deployed for the exercise.
“Consequently, they advised that the commission should adopt a graduated approach to the CVR exercise by starting online.
“After appraising the situation, the exercise can then proceed physically at state and LGA offices before finally deploying to all the 2,673 centres nationwide.
“Based on this advice, the commission decided to adopt a roll-out and roll-back approach to the exercise such that the registration centres will not only be accessible, but safe and secure.
“After a careful consideration of these suggestions, the commission has decided to modify the schedule for the CVR as follows:
“There will be commencement of registration only on June 28, through INEC registration portal https://cvr.inecnigeria.org or https://cvr.inec.gov.ng
“The schedule of appointments for online registrants and physical CVR, at INEC state and local government offices nationwide will commence on July 19.
“The date for the commencement of physical CVR at all the 2,673 registration centres nationwide will be determined based on evaluation of security situation.
“I want to appeal for the understanding and support of Nigerians, especially those who have been keenly awaiting the resumption of the CVR.
“This is a situation beyond the control of the commission, given our determination to ensure that electoral activities are conducted in a conducive atmosphere of freedom and safety,” Yakubu said.
The INEC chairman said that the registration portal would go live in the early hours of June 28.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that IVED device was unveiled at the news conference, while the commission also conducted a mock of the registration exercise in its media centre.
Yakubu said the IVED would be used for Anambra governorship election and voters accreditation in future elections. (NAN)