No fewer than 209 voter enrolment machines have been deployed to Lagos, Kano and five states in the South-East region to meet up with registration demands.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced this on Friday in a statement issued by Festus Okoye, the Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee.
According to Okoye, INEC took the decision in response to “unprecedented surge” in the number of Nigerians besieging its offices in the aforementioned states with requests to be enrolled.
“In some States, the sudden turnout of prospective registrants is overwhelming.
“Consequently, the Commission convened an urgent meeting with all the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) yesterday Thursday 9th June 2022 to review the situation so that eligible Nigerians who wish to register are able to do so. The necessity to urgently deploy more voter enrolment machines to ease the congestion at the registration centres was identified as a priority.
“In response, the Commission has immediately released additional 209 machines deployed mainly to the five South Eastern States, Lagos and Kano where the pressure is most acute,” Okoye said.
He added that INEC would “monitor the situation over the next few days. Thereafter, it will meet to review the progress of the exercise.
“Every step will be taken and all options will be explored to ensure that eligible Nigerians are given the opportunity to register as voters.
“The Commission appeals for patience and understanding of all citizens. Every Nigerian who is 18 years of age and above has the constitutional right to register and vote in any part of the country he/she resides without let or hindrance.
“The sudden surge is an affirmation of the increasing confidence Nigerians have in our electoral process. The Commission will continue to ensure that this confidence is sustained.”
The decision by INEC came a day after Igbos in Lagos and states in the South East accused the commission of marginalisation and deliberate disenfranchisement in the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration (CVR).
The youth wing of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, had on Thursday condemned alleged attacks on Igbo youths who visited INEC offices in Lagos to register as voters.
“We have already been pushed to the walls, what they are doing now amounts to pushing Ndigbo beyond the walls and the consequences could be drastic.
“The two major political parties in the country cannot deny the South-east presidential ticket and at the same time deny them the opportunity to exercise their franchise.
“This is a call for total anarchy in the land and we are urging the security agencies to rise to the occasion,” Okwu Nnabuike, President-General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, had said.
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