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Voter Registration: Kuje residents beg INEC to extend exercise

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Some residents in the Kuje Area Council of FCT have appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) to enable eligible voters to get registered before the 2023 general elections.

In separate interviews on Sunday in Kuje, the residents said those willing to register had been coming out in large numbers in vain.

The exercise, which had been generally peaceful, orderly and hitch-free at the Kuje INEC office and some registration centres, experienced crowds of registrants on the day of the deadline.

The registrants included people who want to register for new Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), people whose cards had been defaced and those that wished to effect transfer to another polling unit.

Abraham Gado, a registrant, said the success of the 2023 general election depended a lot on public perception of INEC as neutral and fair to all.

Mr Gado insisted that many people in the six area councils were yet to register and collect their PVCs.

However, he acknowledged that the deadline for registration had been previously extended but appealed that INEC should consider an extension so as not to disenfranchise anyone.

Luka Ayuba, another registrant, reminded the electoral umpire of the provisions in the amended Electoral Act, which allowed for the extension of voter registration.

Mr Ayuba described the exercise as tedious and cumbersome, marred by delay in capturing, slow process and other technical hitches.

He, therefore, appealed for the extension and deployment of more machines to different electoral wards in the area to fast-track their registration and enable large numbers of people to be captured.

Meanwhile, Yakubu Allawa, the Kuje INEC electoral officer, said the office had only four functional machines for the entire area council, thereby making the exercise cumbersome.

Mr Allawa said another major challenge the commission faced was the poor network, slowing down the process during capturing.

He added that adequate priority was being given to Persons with disabilities (PWDs), the elderly and pregnant women in the area.

“For a long time, people refused to come out to register, and now that the closure for the exercise is drawing nearer, people are trooping out in large numbers,” he said.