The Leadership and Entrepreneurship Advocacy (LEAD) Network Africa, an NGO, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to extend the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), to December.
The Executive Director of LEAD Network Africa, Mr. Chukwuma Okenwa, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Enugu on Wednesday.
Okenwa spoke against the backdrop of a surging number of new registrants, and protests by some youths across the country, over inadequate CVR machines to capture them daily.
According to him, until INEC gets a complementing number of voters who will participate in all democratic processes, and match the same with the population of the country, the commission should continue CVR even beyond the 2023 General Elections.
He reminded INEC of its founding mandate, which was inclusivity, adding that; “`On no account should anyone who presents himself to be registered to be denied”.
“Until people are scarce in every registration center, then will be a good reason to end the process, but in this case, there are thousands of Nigerians hoping to get their PVC daily.
“So I will suggest that the process should continue until two months to the elections so that millions of Nigerians will not be disenfranchised,” he said.
Okenwa also urged INEC to consider the recent happenings in many polling units across Nigeria, where people, especially youths, were turning up in droves, daily, to register, by tackling challenges such as inadequate registration machines, to ensure the electorate was given the chance to perform their civic duties.
“The CVR registration machines are not enough; many are frustrated because they come out to register, but return home after spending the entire day without realizing their goal.
“So the commission invariably, should move or extend the deadline,” he said.
The LEAD Network boss, however, commended celebrities and artists over their sensitization drive for Nigerians, especially youths, to get their PVCs.
“There is evidence that every young and well-meaning Nigerian now wants the country’s system to work,” Okenwa added. (NAN)