Abuja: The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has stated that no Nigerians were deliberately disenfranchised by being denied the opportunity to complete their online pre-registration.
According to a statement issued on Monday by the electoral umpire, signed by Mr Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, “the claim that some seven million Nigerians who applied for online pre-registration as voters during the last nationwide online pre-registration exercise Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) were denied the opportunity to complete their registration and consequently collect their permanent voters cards (PVCs) is misleading”.
The statement reads:
“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.
“It was a novel idea leveraging on technology to ease the registration process. This was in addition to the walk – in option at physical centers, 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 process, a total of 10, 487, 972 commenced the process.
However, by the deadline of the exercise, 3, 444, 378 completed the exercise physically at the designated centres in line with the Commission’s policy. Some 7, 043, 594 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 registration or appear physically at the designated centers to complete the process.
A breakdown of the 7, 043, 594 incomplete online registration is as follows:
- 4, 161, 775 citizens attempted but either did not complete the online registration or abandoned it and went for the physical registration instead.
- 2, 881, 819 completed the online pre-registration but did not show up to 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 to citizens to adhere to guidelines as against the endless agitation for eleventh hour extension of set deadlines.