The Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday reacted to claims that the Commission denied over seven Million Nigerians the opportunity to complete their online pre-registration during the Continuous Voter Registration.
The PUNCH reports that INEC recently disclosed that out of 10,487,972 Nigerians who carried out their pre-registration online, only 3,444,378 completed the process at a physical centre representing just 32.8 per cent of the completed online registration.
The PUNCH also reported that 24 Nigerians dragged the Commission before an Abuja Federal High Court for “failing to give them and other seven million Nigerians adequate time and opportunity to complete their voter registration after they have carried out their registration online.”
But the National Commissioner in charge of voters education , Festus Okoye in a statement on Monday, said Nigerians were given enough time to complete their registrations noting that the deployment of technologies was to ease the registration process.
The Commissioner also stated that the Commission provided weekly statistical updates on the exercise for transparency sake.
The statement read, “The attention of the Commission has been drawn to media reports that some seven million Nigerians who applied for online pre-registration as voters during the last nationwide Continuous Voter Registration were denied the opportunity to complete their registration and consequently the collection of their Permanent Voters Cards.This claim is misleading.
“To set the record straight, Nigerians may recall that on 28th June 2021, the Commission introduced the online pre-registration of voters. By doing so, citizens were given the opportunity to commence the registration online and then book an appointment at their convenience to complete the physical Biometric Capture at designated centres. It was a novel idea leveraging technology to ease the registration process. This was in addition to the walk-in option at physical centres, where Nigerians can commence and complete their registration simultaneously without going through the online pre-registration procedure.
“In the interest of transparency, the Commission provided weekly statistical updates on the exercise.
“For the online pre-registration, a total 10,487,972 commenced the process. However, by the deadline of the exercise, 3,444,378 Nigerians completed their pre-registration physically at the designated centres in line with the Commission’s policy. Some 7,043,594 applicants did not complete the registration. Again, the Commission made the information public. This is what some people are now using to say that they were denied the opportunity when in reality they failed to either complete the online enrolment or appear physically at the designated centres to complete the process.
He added, “A breakdown of the 7,043,594 incomplete online pre-registrations is as follows: 4,161,775 citizens attempted but either did not complete online pre-registration or abandoned it and went for the physical registration instead.
“2,881,819 registrants completed the online pre-registration but did not show up to complete the physical Biometric Capture at designated centres before the deadline.
“Therefore, it is clear that no Nigerians were deliberately denied the opportunity to complete their online pre-registration.
“We appeal to citizens to always adhere to timelines as against the endless agitation for eleventh hour extension of set deadlines.”