2023: We didn’t deny 7m Nigerians opportunity of registering for PVCs – INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has debunked insinuations that it denied about seven million Nigerians, the opportunity of enrolling on their Permanent Voter Cards PVCs ahead of next year’s general election.

Describing the claim as false and misleading, INEC said those in that category are to blame for not doing the needful at the right time.

In a statement issued Monday in Abuja, INEC National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr. Festus Okoye recalled that INEC had on 28th June 2021 introduced the online pre-registration of voters.

He said by doing so, citizens were given the opportunity to commence the registration online and then book an appointment at their convenience to complete the physical Biometric Capture at designated centres.

“It was a novel idea leveraging technology to ease the registration process. This was in addition to the walk-in option at physical centres, 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”, he stated.

Okoye added that for the online pre-registration, a total of 10,487,972 commenced the process.

However, by the deadline of the exercise, 3,444,378 Nigerians completed their pre-registration physically at the designated centres in line with the Commission’s policy.

“Some 7,043,594 applicants 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 enrolment or appear physically at the designated centres to complete the process.

“A breakdown of the 7,043,594 incomplete online pre-registrations is as follows:

“4,161,775 citizens attempted but either did not complete online pre-registration or abandoned it and went for the physical registration instead.

“2,881,819 registrants completed the online pre-registration but did not show up to complete the 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 always adhere to timelines as against the endless agitation for eleventh-hour extension of set deadlines”, he added.



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