By Sodiq Omolaoye (Abuja), Rauf Oyewole (Bauchi) and Abel Abogonye (Lafia)
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday, suspended the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise, despite pleas by Nigerians and relevant stakeholders urging the electoral body to extend the deadline.
The Guardian observed that the commission’s portal was no longer accessible to new users as a notice reads: “The CVR exercise has been suspended. Access to log-in to check the status of your completed applications will soon be restored.”
The commission had declared that the exercises would officially end on July 31, 2022.
But a group, Khamis Darazo Movement, called on INEC to consider further extension of the registration, to allow more youths to exercise their franchise.
The leader of the Movement, Khamis Musa, speaking after a rally in Bauchi, yesterday, said hundreds of youths in Bauchi and Gombe States were yet to register, as a result of bottlenecks at the registration points.
Also, the Nasarawa State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) appealed to INEC to extend the exercise.
State Chairman, Rev. Dr. Sunday Emmah, made the appeal in an exclusive interview with The Guardian in Lafia, the state capital.
He argued that since more people are still showing readiness to obtain voter cards, INEC should deploy more machines to register eligible voters.
He said: “We have embarked on aggressive voter registration and sensitisation across the 13 local governments in the state. It would amount to frustration if people, in response, are ready to participate in voting but cannot obtain a card.
“Why is INEC in a hurry to close registration, when it is its sole responsibility to register eligible voters? INEC can double up its effort to ensure everything is put in order before the general elections.