By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
As the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), resumes the online pre-registration process for the Continuous Voter’s Registration (CVR) exercise today, Yiaga Africa has said that the exercise presents an opportunity for Nigerians, especially the youths, to exercise their power as the sovereign in a democracy.
The Director of Programs of Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu, who stated this in a statement on Monday, noted that the exercise presents the right to vote, which it says gives the people a voice through the ballot.
According to her, “To inspire citizens to register as voters, the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) introduced the pre-enrolment via INEC’s CVR online portal from June 28, 2021.
“This will be the first time in Nigeria’s electoral process where citizens can commence their voter’s registration from their individual spaces of comfort.
“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.
“Voters registration remains a critical exercise in the electoral process as it is the first determinant of who gets to vote in Nigeria.
“The right to vote which, gives the people a voice through the ballot, requires citizens to first register as voters. It guarantees the free exercise of the right of citizens to choose their leaders and decide electoral outcomes.
“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.”
The citizen-led organization noted that 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.
It also commended INEC for improving the technology deployed for voters registration to enable a new generation of Nigerians to register seamlessly to vote.
“We commend Nigerians for remaining patient and waiting for the CVR process to resume. We congratulate Nigeria’s youth for staying resilient and committed to building Nigeria’s democracy.
“Hopefully, more eligible voters, especially young Nigerians, will take advantage of this opportunity to register as voters,” Mbamalu said.
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