As the Continuous Voter Registration Exercise embarked upon by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) earlier in April enters the second week of the second quarter, a total of 2, 092, 434 new registrants have so far been recorded, the commission said yesterday.
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this while swearing in nine Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) at INEC headquarters.
Yakubu said that at the end of the first quarter of the exercise, 1, 810, 153 people were registered; adding that the current figure was attained following the registration of additional 282, 281 citizens during the second week of the second quarter.
“For the first time in the history of the commission, citizens who have attained the age of 18 and those who could not register before the last general elections now have the opportunity to do so on a continuous basis as envisaged by the Electoral Act,” he said.
In a related development, participants at a one-day workshop on Citizens Conversation with Elected Public Officials, in Umuahia, Abia State capital, have blamed INEC over alleged apathy that characterised the registration.
The programme was organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in collaboration with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).
The keynote speaker, a former Secretary to the Abia State Government, Professor Mkpa Agu Mkpa, said a situation where INEC would supervise elections and announce results different from how the people voted would naturally discourage anyone from participating in the process.
In his comment, the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the state, Mr. John Emejor, wanted INEC to outline its strategy for eliminating voter apathy and making the votes count. He said the issue was critical to the success of the exercise and subsequent elections.