Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, in Bayelsa State, have expressed concern over the alleged reluctance of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct Continuous Voters Registration, CVR, in Bayelsa State, ahead of the November 11th governorship elections in the state.
The CSOs led by the Fostering Achievement of Community Empowerment, FACE, Initiative allege that despite the shortage of time and in accordance with Section 9(6) of the 2022 Electoral Act, the non-compliance of the electoral body to continue to register new voters until August is a violation of the section of the law.
They reminded INEC that the law stipulates that, “The registration of voters, updating and revision of the Register of Voters under this section SHALL not stop not later than 90 days before any election covered by this Act”.
The Executive Director of FACE Initiative, Inatimi Odio, in a statement made available to DAILY POST in Yenagoa, noted that many Bayelsa youths have attained 18 years of age since the suspension of the CVR exercise in July 2022.
He explained that there are also others who could not complete their registration or register at all before the suspension of the last exercise.
He said, “We call on INEC to immediately set machinery in motion to conduct the CVR process in Bayelsa State. If this is not done scores of young people will be disenfranchised”, he said.
He also revealed that the FACE Initiative, in partnership with other organizations in Bayelsa State, are ready to assist in mobilizing Bayelsa youths to go out and register as they constitute the majority of registered voters in Nigeria, pointing out that they also constitute the highest number of citizens that are yet to register.
The group further reiterated their call for the Electoral Umpire, INEC to unveil a robust strategy and blueprint to enable Bayelsa youths who are not registered, do so and have their voices heard during the November 11 off-cycle governorship elections.