The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday, confirmed that it would extend the June 30 deadline for the ongoing continuous voter registration (CVR). It was, however, silent on the duration of the extension.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed the Youths Vote Count Concert at the Old Parade Ground, Abuja.
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The awareness campaign was organised by INEC, in partnership with the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN), and YIAGA Africa. It was aimed at mobilising youths across the state for the ongoing nationwide CVR exercise.
Yakubu said that contrary to reports, the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) for the ongoing CVR exercise would begin in October 2022.
Said he: “The youths want to know when the registration will end. I want to assure you, on behalf of the commission that the registration won’t end on June 30. For as long as we have you people trying to register, we will continue to register you. In the last five days, we have registered over 14, 000 Nigerians in this place alone. We have about 50 voter registration machines.”
On the duration of the extension, Yakubu said the commission is yet to decide on the timeframe, but would soon communicate the duration to Nigerians.
He added: “Also, by next Monday, we will deploy more machines to register Nigerians. We won’t stop registration until we are satisfied that those who wish to register are allowed to do so.
“When will your PVCs be ready for collection? PVCs will be ready for collection latest by October this year, long before the election. I want to thank you for making the PVC the most popular Identification Card.”
He, however, urged them to use the PVC for the main purpose, “not just for the opening of bank accounts.
In assuring that votes would count, he said: “Ekiti governorship poll was good, Osun will be better and 2023 general elections will be the best. Your votes will count. For those who are yet to register, kindly do so to vote.”
Speaking earlier, Head of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Ambassador Samuela Isopi said: “This is the start of a great change.
We can feel the energy. Nigerians are mobilising and there is this feeling that this time they are ready to be drivers of change. You have the power to drive positive change. Get your PVC and use it. Your votes will count and don’t give up your power. Don’t sell your votes because if you sell your votes, you sell your future.