INEC to resume voter registration June 28 – chairman

INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday said it had concluded arrangements to resume Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) on June 28.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this at the commission’s meeting in Abuja, with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) for the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Yakubu said the commission was working to update its registration software to accommodate the newly established polling units to enable prospective voters to register.

“However, more work still lies ahead.

“Apart from the CVR, we shall continue our preparations for two bye-elections scheduled for June 19 in Sabon Gari State Constituency in Kaduna State and Gwaram Federal Constituency in Jigawa State,” he said.

He said the commission was waiting for the official declaration of vacancies by the House of Representatives for the Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency in Plateau and Lere Federal Constituency in Kaduna State.

“Furthermore, preparations for the Anambra State Governorship election to be held on Nov. 6 and the FCT Area Council election scheduled for Feb. 12 will be prioritised.

“Similarly, we shall continue our early preparations for the 2023 general elections.

“In this regards, the commission has already established an Election Project Plan (EPP) committee to work on the 2023 election plan.

“The idea is to complete the plan early enough and make sure that we are fully ready for the election, which is now only 640 days away,” he said.

Yakubu said that INEC had successfully concluded stakeholder engagements on the expansion of voter access to pulling units.

The chairman said that the commission would soon meet to finalise the compilation and coding of polling units and would thereafter make the information public.

“I am glad to inform you that the option of converting existing voting points and voting point settlements into full-fledged polling units and situating them in the most agreeable locations to support increased voter access was overwhelmingly accepted by Nigerians.

“Consequently, the commission has, in the last three weeks concluded the actual exercise as well as the verification of the newly established polling units.

“The commission wishes to thank all Nigerians for their support in addressing the 25-year-old problem,” he said.

Yakubu said that the committee set up by the commission to develop the 2022-2026 Strategic Plan to replace the Strategic Plan covering the period 2016-2021, had concluded its work.

According to the chairman, the validation of the committee’s work will begin this week.

“The Strategic Plan and the Strategic Programme of Action will serve as the framework and guiding document for the work of the commission for the 2023 general election and beyond,” he said.

Yakubu appealed to all the RECs to accord the validation process the attention it deserved.

He said that INEC had had an exceedingly eventful exercise in the two months, with some of the events very positive and encouraging while others had been less so.

“On the positive side, the commission has conducted 28 out of 32 bye-elections across the country since the 2019 general election, in addition to four end-of tenure governorship elections in Bayelsa, Edo, Kogi and Ondo States.

“The bye-elections were held in 20 states involving six senatorial districts, seven federal constituencies, 18 state constituencies and one councillorship constituency in Abaji Ward of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“Indeed, it is now clear that the commission must reconcile itself with the fact that elections have become an all-year round undertaking in Nigeria,” Yakubu said.

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