The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has debunked accusations laid by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that about 70millions Nigerians were denied opportunities to complete their online pre-registration for genuine reasons.
In a statement by the National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye Esq dated Monday 9h September 2022.
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 (CVR) were denied the opportunity to complete their registration and consequently the collection of their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and this claim is misleading”.
“Nigerians may recall that on 28th June 2021, the Commission introduced the online pre-registration of voters and citizens were allowed to commence the registration online and then book an appointment at their convenience to complete the physical Biometric Capture of 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”.
Also, “the Commission provides an interest in transparency and weekly statistical updates on the exercise”.
Meanwhile,” for the online pre-registration, a total of 10,487,972 commenced the process and 3,444,378 Nigerians completed their pre-registration physically at the designated centres online with the Commission’s policy as Some 7,043,594 applicants did not complete the registration”
“A breakdown of the 7,043,594 incomplete online pre-registrations is 4,161,775 citizens attempted but either did not complete online pre-registration or abandoned it and went for the physical registration instead”
“This total of 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”
The Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee added that the commission implores special citizens to always adhere to timelines as against the endless agitation for eleventh hour extension of set deadlines.
However, the Commission made the information public about the deadline of the exercise, In reality, they failed to either complete the online enrolment or appear physically at the designated centres to complete the process as no Nigerians were deliberately denied the opportunity to complete their online pre-registration.