Group Calls For Extension Of Voter Registration Exercise
The call was contained in a letter addressed to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), dated Aug. 8 and made available to the press in Abuja.
The letter signed by the Governor of the group, Mr Charles Oputa, said there are thousands of Nigerians eager to register.
He stated that the group had been inundated by calls and complains from other notable groups and concerned citizens.
Oputa noted that since the INEC announced the suspension of the continuous voters’ registration exercise on Aug.17, individuals, groups and disturbed Nigerians all over the country had become frustrated.
While commending INEC for various improvements in the registration exercise; the extension of time, and weekend registrations, the group said the aforementioned did not make the exercise a continuous one.
“It is our well- considered view that INEC has had enough time to perfect the process of registration and other activities to run concurrently with the preparation for elections,” the leader group added.
Oputa maintained that best practices demanded that INEC should be decentralized to handle core and big operations simultaneously and seamlessly, by putting in place special structure to handle registration of voters.
The group, which carried out a peaceful demonstration outside the premises of the INEC, demanded that the exercise be extended to Dec.14, 2018.
This it said, was in accordance with the 60 days before the first election as guaranteed by the Electoral Act, 2010, so that justice would be seen to have been done to everyone.
The group expressed its willingness to engage in further discussions with INEC on how the process of registration could be reviewed and made less strenuous for Nigerians to register.
The group urged that the registration should remain a continuous process as part of INEC’s responsibility to Nigerians so that eligible Nigerians can have the opportunity to exercise their franchise.