The Chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters, Aishatu Jibril Dukku, says the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has agreed to extend the ongoing continuous voter registration (CVR) exercise by 60 days.
At press time, no word has come officially from INEC, but Dukku disclosed the new development while briefing her colleagues at plenary on the committee’s efforts to ensure the implementation of a House resolution that the registration be extended.
“The Committee held a meeting with INEC yesterday (Tuesday) and they agreed to extend the CVR, all our resolutions were approved,” Dukku said on Wednesday.
The House had on June 15 directed that the committee should meet with the electoral umpire following a motion by Rep. Benjamin Kalu from Abia State.
The House urged INEC to extend the voter registration by 60 days.
The Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) was earlier scheduled to end on June 30.
Duku told members that the registration days would now include weekends with additional hands to ensure a smooth exercise.
Kalu said in his April motion, INEC declared that about 42 per cent of the voter registrations recorded since the commencement of CVR on 28 June, 2021, were invalid with about 20 million unclaimed Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).
He added that the large number of unregistered eligible voters, willing to be registered as evidenced by crowd seen at various registration centres, had resulted in congestion.
Kalu stated that if nothing was done to improve the shortage of voter registration equipment, and extend the deadline for voters registration, millions of Nigerians would be disenfranchised, which would jeopardise the integrity of the 2023 general elections.