The Independent National Electoral Commission has disclosed the reason over 7 million applicants were not captured in the records of the suspended Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
This comes on the heels of outburst from Nigerians over claims that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disenfranchised them from voting in the forthcoming general elections,
It could be recalled that the INEC suspended the CVR on July 31, while informing the public that 12,298,944 persons completed their registration out of which 8,854,566 were individuals who did their registration at physical centres, while 3,444,378 started their registration online and completed the process at a physical centre.
But in August, INEC said over seven million persons failed to complete the registration process at physical centres which has however led to speculations over the status of those who failed to complete the registration.
Reacting to the media reports that about seven million Nigerians who applied for the PVC online during the last CVR were denied the opportunity, INEC described the claims as false and misleading, saying those in that category were to be blamed for not doing the needful at the right time.
The Commission in a statement issued on Monday by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye said that 7,043,594 applicants did not complete the registration and some people are now saying they were denied the opportunity when in reality they failed to either complete the online enrolment or appear physically at the designated centres to complete the process.
Speaking in Abuja, Okoye, however, said that media reports that some seven million Nigerians who applied for online pre-registration as voters during the last nationwide CVR were denied the opportunity to complete their registration and, consequently, the collection of their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs), was misleading.
The INEC Commissioner recalled that on June 28, 2021, the commission introduced the online pre-registration of voters.
According to him, by doing so, citizens were given the opportunity to commence the registration online and then book an appointment at their convenience to complete the physical biometric capture at designated centres.
It was a novel idea leveraging technology to ease the registration process.
“This was in addition to the walk-in option at physical centres, where Nigerians can commence and complete their registration simultaneously without going through the online pre-registration procedure.
“In the interest of transparency, the commission provided weekly statistical updates on the exercise,” Okoye said.
Speaking further, he said for the online pre-registration, 10,487,972 applicants commenced the process, but by the deadline of the exercise, 3,444,378 Nigerians completed their pre-registration physically at the designated centres in line with the commission’s policy.
“Some 7,043,594 applicants did not complete the registration. Again, the commission made the information public.
“This is what some people are now using to say that they were denied the opportunity when in reality they failed to either complete the online enrolment or appear physically at the designated centres to complete the process,” he said.