NewsNigeria Elections29% of Nigerians Registering to Vote Encountered Violence — Report

Report by SB Morgen (SBM) has shown that ninety-nine percent of Nigerians who commenced the voter registration process encountered violence.

The report which evaluated INEC’s CVR process showed that despite the focus from INEC and civil society on encouraging Nigerians to go and register, there has been little concerted reporting by INEC on actual permanent voter card (PVC) collections.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) launched the continuous voter registration (CVR) exercise with a portal where Nigerians can register or request to update their voter information before they complete the process physically at designated centres.

From a survey of 4,001 Nigerians in these states, more than 20 percent of Nigerians who commenced their voter registration process encountered violence, according to the SBM report.

“64% of our respondents had commenced the CVR process. Only 41% of those who have started the CVR process have been able to collect their PVCs.

“Only 23% of those who have collected their PVCs were able to do so on their first visit. The rest had to make at least two visits and 20% went at least four times before getting their PVCs

“Most Nigerians do not trust the reasons INEC has stated for their PVCs not being ready. 29% of those who commenced the CVR process encountered violence in the process.

“Young people below 35 dropped out of the CVR process at a greater proportion than those older than 35. INEC’s failure of being transparent in communicating with prospective voters on the status of the CVR process is one of the key reasons for this drop-off.

“INEC should include notifications of readiness of PVCs via SMS in its process in order to bridge the gap between printed PVCs and actual attempts to collect the PVCs,“the report read.

“INEC should include a tracking process in its online portal to transparently communicate to the voter where each CVR process is. INEC should modify its incentives to its staff to ensure that they prioritise PVC distribution, especially as elections approach.

“Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), activists and funders should modify their campaigns from merely encouraging Voter Registration to mobilising for PVC collection. CSOs and activists should engage INEC closer on PVC collection status and information to demand transparency and accountability on this important point.”

Beloved John (Staff Writer)

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