The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says Nigerians would still have rushed for the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) if the exercise were to be extended till the eve of the elections.
INEC’s National Commissioner of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Solomon Soyebi, stated this on Monday during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
“The truth is even if we leave this (CVR) till the eve of the elections, we will still have such (rush) in Nigeria because people will always leave things till the last minute,” he said.
Soyebi’s comments come less than a week after he told Channels Television why the commission would end the registration exercise ahead of next year’s general elections.
On August 31, the election empire ended the CVR two weeks after its Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, gave Nigerians the opportunity to get their voters cards.
Despite that, Soyebi wondered if the young people were captured during the two weeks grace extension.
“What we did was to expand our operations. We extended the time till 5pm but we did not increase the number of machines. Even with that, we had a lot of people that came out. We captured more than one million in two weeks.
“Don’t forget that we started about 16 months ago and the complaints was not a rush at that time. It was ‘these machines were slow; the places were far.’ Of course, we listened to that, we expanded by creating more centers.
“Even with the expansion of the centers, what we discovered was that people were always rushing. Our major fear is that Are we really capturing people who are supposed to be captured? We were expecting people who are 19 years since 1999 and those who missed the opportunity. But it seems as if we have more of people who missed the opportunity.”
According to Soyebi, that the commission has 150 days stipulated by the law to embark on post-registration activities ahead of next year’s polls.
He, however, faulted people who had yet to avail themselves of the extension period, stating that the commission already has about 14 million registered Nigerians.