The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said on Friday it may suspend the nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise in July.
The INEC Chairman’s Chief Press Officer, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, revealed this during an interview with journalists on the sidelines of the ongoing two-day editorial capacity building workshop for officials. INEC Public Affairs, held in Lagos.
Oyekanmi noted that the suspension could be attributed to the fact that most Nigerians are still waiting for the last minute rush before showing up for registration.
He said, however, that the Commission was impressed with those who had completed their registration, both online pre-registration and physical capture of biometrics.
“My advice to Nigerians, especially those who are qualified but have never registered before, is to do so as we are likely to complete the fiscal year around six to seven months before the 2023 general election.
“The commission has not yet decided but normally, from what we know, we will suspend the CVR between six to seven months before the general elections to allow us to clean the electoral register and print the PVCs of those who have registered so far.
“So it is extremely important that Nigerians do not wait until June or July to register,” he said.
On training, he said INEC has media platforms such as online newspapers, social media and public affairs officers in each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He added that the staff of the Department of Voter Education and Publicity must be equipped for the dissemination of information.
Oyekanmi said the Commission will enrich its information dissemination and also improve the capacity of its public affairs officers, so that when they come out to represent the commission, they will speak with one voice.
The INEC official warned social media influencers to refrain from any attempt that could pose a threat to national peace and security.
“We have no other country but Nigeria. If trouble breaks out and threatens the unity of this country, we have no country to call our own. If a crisis breaks out, God forbid, where do we go?
“Social media users and influencers need to show a strong sense of responsibility in the type of information they disseminate about INEC activities as Nigerians are very emotional about the elections and want to see what what does INEC do?
“We are open and transparent; if there is anything anyone is unclear they should ask us, we are open. They should contact us through one of our social media platforms or call one of our public affairs officers.