Following the announcement made by the Independent National Election Commission, INEC that the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) would commence across the country, the Yiaga Africa, a civil society organisation, has urged Nigerians and first-time voters to register to deepen democracy in the country.
The Director of Programs, Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu, made the plea on Monday in Abuja.
However, citizens exercising their franchise is an integral feature of democracy. It is needed to ensure the smooth running of democracy in a country. But in Nigeria, there has been widespread political apathy especially in terms of unwillingness to vote among Nigerians.
Many believe that the only way things can turn around for the best is when Nigerian citizens come out en masse to vote for their preferred candidates in 2023. One of such bodies that buy this as sentiments is the Yiaga Africa, a civil society organisation.
As the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) resumes the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR), Yiaga Africa, a civil society organisation, has urged Nigerians and first-time voters to register to promote democracy in the country.
According to her, with the online pre-registration process and to inspire citizens to register as voters, INEC introduced the pre-enrolment via INEC’s CVR online portal from June 28, 2021 for the benefit of Nigerians. With this new flexible system, voters can do their voting online registration from the comfort of their homes.
“Citizens who complete their pre-enrolment in the online portal will choose an appointment date for their biometric physical capture, which will commence from 19 July 2021 at INEC offices in the States and Local Government Areas (LGAs).
“With the proposals for more technology to be deployed in Nigeria’s election, this CVR process presents an opportunity for the accurate capture of voters’ data and biometrics. It also creates an opportunity for more eligible voters to commence their registration with ease and hopefully reduce the pressure at the physical centres,” Mbamalu said.
She said, “This CVR exercise presents an opportunity for Nigerians, especially young Nigerians, to exercise their power as the sovereign in a democracy by first registering to vote to harness the people’s power during elections. The CVR is a prerequisite for participating in elections in Nigeria because only registered voters will be issued the permanent voter’s card (PVC) to vote.
“Registering to vote is both a fundamental human rights issue and a civic responsibility issue. The CVR provides an opportunity to transition from any form of agitation or protest to action, as the election remains the legitimate means of transition of political power in a democracy. With the introduction of the online pre-registration process, registration centres will be less congested and the CVR process faster and seamless, especially in the COVID-19 pandemic.”
We hope with the new system, more Nigerians do their voting registration considering the fact that it is more flexible.