The Independent National Electoral Commission has concluded arrangements to commence a nationwide continuous voter registration ahead of the general elections in 2015.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of INEC, Mr. Kayode Idowu, told one of our correspondents on the telephone on Friday that the nationwide voter registration would commence early next year.
Idowu said the commission had planned the continuous voter registration for the end of 2013 but had to shift it because of administrative delays.
He explained that it became necessary to postpone the exercise because the batteries for the Direct Data Capture Machines, which were in the store got worn out and needed replacement.
Idowu added that the commission opted to import new batteries for the DDC machines to avoid the technical hitches that dogged the just concluded governorship elections in Anambra State.
“It (voter registration) would happen next year.
“What is happening is administrative. It would have started before the end of this year. The batteries for the DDC machines had worn out, so we have placed order for a new set of batteries.
“Hopefully, as early as possible, next year, we hope to start. These are just administrative issues that delay things.
“When you store laptops for a long period of time, the batteries would wear out. We didn’t want the technical hitches that we experienced in Anambra to be replicated in the national exercise; that is why we placed order for new ones.”
Idowu said fears over the non registration of voters were unnecessary as the commission had made a definite commitment that it would carry out continuous voter registration.
He said the CVR was designed to avail those who had turned 18 since the last exercise in 2011 and those who were 18 and above but were not registered the opportunity of registration.
“There is absolutely no basis for such fear. The commission has made a commitment to the nation that it will roll out voter registration before the 2015 elections and that commitment remains inviolable.
“It will also provide opportunity for those whose data were somehow defective and were thus on addendum register to get properly captured into the biometric registration.
“While awaiting the national roll-out of CVR, we have been carrying out the exercise preparatory to the governorship elections. We did it in Anambra State; we will do it in Ekiti and Osun states. So the fear is unwarranted,” he added
Meanwhile, the commission has asked aggrieved parties in the recently concluded governorship election in Anambra State, particularly the All Progressives Congress, to proceed to the Election Tribunal if they were not satisfied with its conduct and result.
The APC governorship candidate, Senator Chris Ngige, had said he would proceed to court to seek redress over what he described as irregularities in the election.
Also, the APC had, in its letter to INEC signed by its Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, said prior to the date for the Anambra State governorship election, “the ominous signs of an election that was predetermined to favour specific interests against the wish of the electorate were already clear.”
The APC had therefore demanded “an outright cancellation of the Anambra election.”