From Jacob Iyanda, HoD, Voter Education & Publicity, Kwara
In response to an upsurge in the number of Nigerians taking part in the on-going Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has procured new Direct Data Capturing machines (DDC) and distributed them to all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja to ease the registration process.
The National Commissioner in charge of Kwara, Kogi and Nasarawa states, Alhaji Mohammed Haruna Kudu, made this known on Monday at the Ilorin West Registration Centre, during his monitoring of the CVR exercise in the state.
Haruna pointed out that 10 of the new DDC machines were allocated to Kwara, while the Ilorin West Local Government was allocated one machine. He said the move was expected to ease the congestion of prospective registrants in Ilorin West and other centres.
He revealed that the Commission had approved the rotation of some registration centres in order to create an opportunity for people who might be living in far distances from the existing centres to take part in the CVR exercise. Citizens would also be able to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) at such centres after observing the normal procedures.
The National Commissioner, who was in Kwara to assess the progress of the CVR exercise, visited 10 local government areas across the three Senatorial Districts in the state.
He said that over seven million PVCs were yet to be collected by their owners across the country, out of which 239, 000 were still in Kwara state. He described the figure as “rather high” and advised that more innovative voter education strategies be adopted to reach the cards owners of the cards.
On his assessment of the exercise, Haruna said he was impressed by the diligence of the commission’s staff in all the centers he visited. He promised that the Commission would do everything possible to ensure that all the PVCs were collected by their owners before the 2019 general elections.
On the evacuation of the stores in readiness for 2019 election materials, Haruna directed the immediate identification of obsolete materials. He said: “The 2019 General Election is around the corner. One of the important areas of preparation is keeping all our stores in good shape for electoral materials that may soon be coming in.