Technocrat Media, Abuja
The lower chamber of the National Assembly has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the deadline for continuous voter registration (CVR) by 60 days.
House of Representatives passed the resolution at its plenary on Wednesday following the adoption of a motion by a member of the house from Abia State, Benjamin Kalu.
Ahead of the next year’s general elections, INEC had fixed June 30 as the deadline for the suspension of CVR across the country.
Mr Kalu said the extension of the CVR exercise will enable many eligible Nigerians to get registered.
“The large numbers of unregistered eligible voters willing to be registered as evidenced by crowd seen at various registration centres resulting in congestion,” the lawmaker said.
“Reports of shortages of voter registration machines, inadequate manpower and personnel at registration centres which may lead to frustrations among prospective registrants and in some cases, unrest at some registration centres.
“The right to vote is critically important to the health and legitimacy of our democracy, as well as electoral integrity.”
He noted if measures are not taken to tackle the “shortage of voter registration equipment and extend the deadline for voters’ registration,” many Nigerians will be disenfranchised and this will jeopardise the “integrity” of the 2023 election.
The motion was adopted when it was put to a voice vote by Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house.
House Committee on electoral matters was mandated to engage INEC and ensure that the deadline for voter registration is extended by 60 days.
Section 9 (6) of the Electoral Act 2022 stipulates that “the registration of voters, updating and revision of register of voters” shall stop not later than 90 days before any election covered by the Act.
However, last week, INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu said no eligible Nigerian would be left behind.
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