Residents of Ibandan, Oyo State, have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to create additional Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) centres in every ward in the country to enable more eligible voters to register and vote in the future elections.
They made the call on Thursday while speaking with newsmen in Ibadan on their assessment of the exercise.
The residents noted that that many eligible voters were yet to register in the exercise due to long distance from their places of abode to CVR centres. Mr Michael Owoyeni, who resides at Alaakia area in Ibadan, said many residents in his area, especially youths who had reached voting age were yet to register.
He attributed the development to non-availability of CVR centre in the area. “Many of the youth find it difficult to afford transport fare that will take them to INEC office in Egbeda Local Government where the exercise is ongoing. “But it will be convenient if CVR centre is created in this ward and other wards to make the exercise nearer to the people,’’ Owoyeni stated. Mrs Cecilia Adekola of Iyere-Olode area said she intended to apply for transfer of her Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC), from her former location to Ibadan but could not do it due to long distance.
She implored INEC to create additional centres in the wards so that more eligible voters would be able to register instead of limiting the centres to council secretariats. Rev Jacob Popoola of Agbowo area, Ibadan North Local Government, said some of his church members always inquire from him about the CVR. “I do tell them to visit INEC offices in their respective places of abode, but they do complain of long distance. ‘’It is only the few that reside near the centres that have registered while many have not. “I will advise everybody that is yet to register for voter’s card to do so and stop using the long distance as excuse but take it as a sacrifice for the nation. “The card is our voting power and we cannot clamour for good governance when we fail to register as voters and participate in elections,’’ Popoola urged.
INEC had in July created eight additional CVR centres across the state in its bid to make the exercise convenient for eligible Nigerians to get registered for the voter’s card. Mr Surajudeen Junaid, the acting Administrative Secretary of INEC in the state, said the commission took the decision after critical assessment of the exercise and also in response to the genuine request from prospective voters. NAN gathered that 62, 618 new voters were registered in the first phase of the exercise between on April 27 and July 20, across the 33 Local Government Areas of the state.