INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu
Following weeks of complaints about hitches experienced in the online registration of voters, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Tuesday announced that the portal has been shut.
The clarification was made by the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Federal Capital Territory, Yahaya Bello, at a briefing in Abuja ahead of the Youth Vote Count Mega Music Concert on Saturday.
He wondered why Nigerians are still rushing to the commission’s website, despite the commission warning last month that it would suspend the online registration on May 30.
According to him, people complaining that the online registration was no longer effective should have sought clarification before reaching such premature conclusion.
He said, “If you are talking about online registration, I will say it is very effective. What happened is that it has been suspended. Those who applied online have been captured and are in our records before we suspended it.”
This is even as he stated that the Permanent Voters Cards of people who are just completing their registration may not be ready until the first month of 2023.
“The online registration was suspended to allow us in INEC to prepare the PVC while the physical process continues.
“Those we saw in long queues today were those who didn’t seize the opportunity to register early. They are rushing today because of the sensitization. Otherwise, we would have been following this thing by sequence,” he said.
Bello, who sounded a note of warning at the event on Tuesday, said anybody just registering cannot immediately collect them until after the end of the whole exercise.
“I want to make it clear that the PVCs you see people collecting now are from 2011, 2019 and last year. Those who are participating now till June 30 won’t be able to collect theirs now.
“It is a process that will allow us to print these cards. The collection of the PVCs will not commence until the first month of 2023 and it will be done in person, not by proxies,” he stated.
The Youth Vote Count Mega Music Concert is a joint event put together by INEC in collaboration with YIAGA Africa and the European Union.