The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Monday, began a nationwide campaign to promote the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) and the newly created Polling Units (PU’s), in the state.
Speaking at an event to kick off the campaign in Lagos, Mr Sam Olumekun, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos, and National Commissioner-designate, said that CVR remained the bedrock of a successful and credible election.
Olumekun, who was represented by Mr James Popoola, INEC’s administration secretary, said that the turnout of new registrants had been very low, hence the need for all stakeholders to mobilise qualified residents for registration.
“The weekly update released by the Commission on Monday, Feb. 7, on the CVR exercise, shows that the state has a total of 191,302 online pre-registrations and 63,961 completed registrations.
“The turnout of eligible registrants is somewhat low when compared with a state like Kano, which is on the same pedestal with Lagos State.
“Hence the clarion call on all critical stakeholders, including the media to join hands with the commission in mobilising Lagos residents to take maximum advantage of the opportunity provided by the current CVR,” the INEC boss said.
Olumekun said that the commission commenced the nationwide CVR on June 28, 2021, with online registration before the physical capturing started in July same year.
He said that the physical capturing exercise was ongoing in the 20 local government area (LGA), offices of the commission and INEC headquarters, urging residents to take more interest in the exercise.
According to him, the exercise runs from Mondays to Fridays between 9:00a.m and 3:00p.m daily, emphasising that it is not a fresh registration, but a process meant for Nigerians who had attained the voting age of 18 years.
Olumekun further said that the exercise was also for those who could not register before, or who had challenges with their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs), and could not vote in previous elections.
“The exercise also takes care of corrections, defaced PVCs (update) and either inter or intra state transfer of voting details,” he added.
He recalled that as a prelude to the CVR, INEC conducted a nationwide exercise on expansion of voter access to polling units.
He said that the idea was to make access to voting seamless by converting existing voting points to full-fledged PUs and move them from “under-served to deserving areas”.
According to him, Lagos State has a total of 4,861 new polling units spread across the under-served areas in the state.
He said that with the expansion, the state now had a total of 13,325 polling units.
“The ongoing CVR is part of the Commission’s efforts at populating the new polling units.
“However, from available data, majority of the new polling units are under populated, necessitating the drive to address the ugly trend,” the INEC boss said.
Olumekun said that INEC had consequently come up with a unique means of identifying these new polling units with a view to creating awareness about their existence and the need to register or do voter transfers, in order to populate them.
He called for support of stakeholders to ensure that the objective of registering all eligible citizens and making polling units accessible to people within the approved window was realised.
The commission commenced the pasting of the PU identification stickers from centres in Lagos Mainland and Somolu LGAs, while a similar exercise is expected to be carried out in other local governments. (NAN)