The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed concern over the safety of the over 5,346 officials it plans to deploy for the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) scheduled to kick-off next Monday, June 28, 2021.
The commission also assured that no eligible Nigerian would be disenfranchised in the exercise, saying an online registration portal has been introduced to ensure wider coverage.
Addressing journalists shortly after launching a dedicated online portal for the exercise, yesterday, in Abuja, INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu said the commission was ready for the exercise, having acquired all equipment, including INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED)
While alluding to recent attacks on the commission’s offices across the country, Yakubu said the intention of the attackers was to undermine the commission’s capacity to organise elections and other electoral activities, including the CVR.
He said although the attacks have subsided, the commission was still deeply worried by the threat they could pose to registrants and staff during the exercise.
According to the INEC chairman, the commission decided to start the registration online before it commences fully at all the 2,673 registration centres nationwide from July 19, 2021.
He said: “As a result of this profound concern, the commission has made representations to government and had several discussions with stakeholders, including security agencies under the auspices of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), political parties, civil society organisations and the media.
“During these consultations, we shared our plans, hopes and concerns regarding the security threat that we currently face.
“From the consultations, the stakeholders reached a consensus that it is important for the commission to place a high premium on securing the lives of registrants and staff, as well as the protection of the expensive registration equipment to be deployed for the exercise.”