BY Jesupemi Are
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it did not deliberately deny any Nigerian the opportunity to complete their online voter pre-registration.
Following the suspension of the continuous voter registration (CVR) on July 31, INEC had said the number of persons who completed their registration is 12,298,944.
The commission said of this figure, 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.
In August, INEC had said over seven million persons failed to complete the registration process at physical centres.
However, there have been speculations over the status of those who failed to complete the registration.
In a statement on Monday, Festus Okoye, INEC national commissioner, information and voter education committee, explained why the seven million persons were not captured in the record of completed voter registrations.
“To set the record straight, Nigerians may recall that on 28th June 2021, the Commission introduced the online pre-registration of voters. By doing so, citizens were given the opportunity to commence the registration online and then book for an appointment at their convenience to complete the physical Biometric Capture at designated centres,” the statement reads.
“It was a novel idea leveraging on 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.
“For the online pre-registration, a total 10,487,972 commenced the process. However, 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.
“A breakdown of the 7,043,594 incomplete online pre-registrations is as follows: 4,161,775 citizens attempted but either did not complete online pre-registration or abandoned it and went for the physical registration instead; 2,881,819 registrants completed the online pre-registration but did not show up to complete the physical Biometric Capture at designated centres before the deadline.
“Therefore, it is clear that no Nigerians were deliberately denied the opportunity to complete their online pre-registration.
“We appeal citizens to always adhere to timelines as against the endless agitation for eleventh hour extension of set deadlines.”