Commentary: The Need To Register To Enable You Vote

The Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise, which the Independent National Electoral commission (INEC) commenced across Nigeria on Monday, June 28, 2021, is still ongoing. It is pertinent to note that the only thing that can empower any person to vote in an election is the voter’s card. The card is also the only instrument in the hand of a citizen to retain or change a performing or non-performing administration in any clime. Voter’s card is therefore the authority of a citizen to decide during an election.

The essence of the ongoing Voter Registration is to validate the national voter register, include more eligible voters and expand voters’ access to polling units. The current exercise is unique as it is done online.

Those taking part in the exercise include Nigerians who have just attained the age of 18 and have never been registered to vote; any registered voter who experienced some difficulties during accreditation in the previous elections; registered voters who wish to change their voting locations and those whose Permanent Voter’s Cards are damaged, torn, lost or defaced.

Others are those who wish to correct information such as names, date of birth and others in their cards; those who recently become Nigerian citizens or those who newly relocated to Nigeria and do not get PVC before. Those who want to register must have access to internet in their smart phone or Android Phone or laptop for the online registration, otherwise they can seek assistance from those who have.

The process is simple and self-explanatory; just log on to www.cvr.inecnigeria.org or www.cvr.inec.gov.ng. Thereafter, go to the registration centre in the local government you chose and complete your photo capturing and thump print. Let us ensure that anybody who is up to 18 years and above registers.

Ndi Anambra and residents in the state should please come out and register to vote; it is your civic duty. It must be understood that elections are about voters having the opportunity to register in the first instance, having the opportunity for their names to appear in the register on the Election Day, and make them spend less time in their various voting units to cast their votes.

Hence, stakeholders are urged to sensitize their people to participate actively in the voter registration exercise to ensure mass participation in the forthcoming governorship election in the state as well as the national elections in 2023.

Political parties, traditional rulers, religious bodies, NGOs, market leaders, Woman and youth leaders, churches and all political appointees should sensitize, educate and encourage their people to take part in the continuous voter registration exercise. Parents, local government administrators, town unions and heads of ministries, departments and agencies as well as market, labour, Okada, Keke and other transport union leaders should inculcate the spirit of voting in election into their members.

There is no doubt that voting power is the most effective tool in entrenching good governance as well  as having stronger voice in negotiating national issues and affairs. Voter’s card is, hence, a veritable tool to protect the people’s interest in elections. Above all, voter’s card is a veritable means of identification in Nigeria; be it in banks of telecommunication centres.

Also, data so generated from the registration exercise provide basic statistics for planning and other activities that will benefit the state and its people. We all know that politics is a game of number. Therefore, the areas with greater number of voters will be beautiful brides to politicians and government.

INEC, on its part, should think of ways Nigerians in the Diaspora could be allowed to participate in the electoral system, especially now that it is going online. If we could withdraw money with our ATM card wherever we are, INEC should make casting votes in such a way that one can pull his/her PVC and connect to anywhere in the country to cast his/her vote.

The commission should equally commence early preparation to provide necessary manpower and logistics for the Anambra governorship election to meet the expectations of the people. PLEASE, GO AND REGISTER NOW FOR A BETTER TOMORROW.      

WRITTEN BY SIR NOBERT OBI

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