The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday said it had extended the on-going continuous voters’ registration exercise to weekends and public holidays in Anambra.
Mr Leo Kedife, Head of INEC office in Anambra, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka that the extension was to enable more eligible voters to register.
“INEC has from Aug. 1 to Aug. 17, 2018 extended the registration exercise to Saturday and Sunday and public holidays, if any, and the time will now be from 9.a.m to 5. p.m daily,’’ he said.
The INEC official said the commission would end the continuous voters’ registration exercise on Aug. 17, noting that “after Aug. 17, those whose PVC are ready would continue to collect their cards till Feb. 8, 2019.’’
Kedife said that there were about 120, 000 uncollected PVC in Anambra, adding that the commission would only release figure of the newly registered persons after necessary checks.
“As at Nov. 2017, the number of registered voters in Anambra stood at about 2.1 million and with the continuous voters registration the number would increase, but the new figure will be announced after finger print verification checks,” he said.
Kedife said many people were yet to to come out for the registration.
“The commission had directed the registration officials to move into various wards in addition to INEC local government offices, but in spite this arrangement only few people come out daily to be captured.
“The registration has been taken to universities and major markets like Nkwo Nnewi and other strategic locations.
“As at today all the 23 Local Government Areas in the state have at least four machines for the registration exercise with more functional machines in the headquarters for replacement of any faulty machine’’, he said.
Kedife further decried what he tagged `voter apathy in the state, saying “it is worrisome that out of 2.1 million voters that registered in Anambra, only 400, 000 persons took part in the Nov. 2017 governorship election in the state’’.
When NAN visited INEC office at Amawbia, Awka South Local Government Area, more than 100 persons were seen trying to register for the exercise.
An eligible voter, Christian Obiora told NAN that the process was very slow, adding, “ it is about 12 noon, I came here since 9.am and up till now they only captured about 15 persons and they are yet to attend to me.
Obiora whose position was supported by three other prospective voters, appealed to the commission to provide more machines and personnel if they intend to register eligible persons in the area.
“One cannot talk much on the speed of the machines, but INEC should engage more hands to ensure that those who came for the exercise are attended to before Aug.17 deadline’’, said Amaka Ukachukwu, an Awka resident said at the centre.