By Angela Atabo
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday said it had added 16 additional centres for on-going Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Mrs Ndidi Okafor, Head, Voter Education and Publicity, Gender and Civil Society Liaison, INEC, FCT, made this known in Abuja.
She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the new centres were added to the existing six centres in the area councils in the territory, bringing the number to 22 centres.
Okafor explained that the new centres were created in response to demand by residents in the area to ease the harsh experiences they encounter in trying to get to the area councils, especially the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).
“The additional centres were in fulfilment of the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu’s promise that the issue of decentralisation would be taken into account.
“The commission fulfilled that promise by creating 300 additional CVR centres nationwide, with Lagos having the highest of 25 centres while Abuja has 16.
“So now, we have six more centres in AMAC alone and two each in the remaining five area councils,’’ she said.
Okafor said that the first quarter of the voter registration which commended on April 27, 2017 ended on Thursday (July 20, 2017).
She, however, said distribution of Temporary Voter Cards (PVCs) was on-going at the centres for those who did not collect theirs immediately they registered.
She announced that from Monday, the commission would display the preliminary voter register for persons captured in the first quarter exercise for “claims and objections’’.
According to Okafor, the display of the register will give the registrants the opportunity to check the authenticity of their captured details, including spelling of names and ages.
She urged residents, especially those residing close to the CVR centres, to be vigilant and report any strange name of persons they feel may not be Nigerians.
She said the commission was currently doing data consolidation and aggregation to take a look at the challenges in the field and noting the request and complaints of Nigerians.
According to Okafor, this will help in knowing the number of people that registered and how many had collected their PVCs as well as the number that transferred their voting points.
She commended the people for cooperation in the exercise, adding that the commission expected larger turnout and greater participation with the increase of registration centres to 22.
She particularly called on women to register, saying that it was “the legal doorway to exercising their franchise with the possession of PVCs’’.