Centre For Liberty has solicited the support of the National Assembly and stakeholders for the success of the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) by the Independent National Electoral Commission commencing on Monday.
The group in a statement by its Co-Convener, Mr Ariyo-Dare Atoye, in Abuja on Sunday, said stakeholders’ support was necessary considering the security concern raised by INEC.
He said citizens’ participation in the electoral process was necessary for the protection and sustenance of the democratic space hence.
Atoye also called on the National Assembly to immediately pass the Electoral Act Amendment Bill to encourage citizen involvement.
“We sympathise with INEC over the safety concern it raised about staff and equipment as the commission commences the CVR exercise.
“At a time the country is faced with increased level of insecurity, we urge all stakeholders and the communities to do everything possible to protect the staff and equipment of INEC and ensure the success of the CVR.
“The immediate approval of a new Electoral Act by the political leadership can inspire public confidence in the CVR and ensure people’s ownership of the electoral process, and by extension translate into community protection for INEC ‘s staff and equipment.
“While the failure of the political leadership to approve a new electoral act since 2018, has brought about increased trust deficit in the electoral space and increased voter apathy, the 9th National Assembly must urgently pass the Electoral Bill for a quick assent by the president.
“Voter apathy, as witnessed during the 2019 general election and in the recent off-cycle elections, creates distrusts in the system and weakens the people’s resolve to guarantee general support for public institutions and equipment.
“Since electoral reforms now represent a major Citizens Charter of Demand to the National Assembly for good governance, the passage of the Electoral Act 2021 would significantly help to galvanise the populace to be fully involved in the CVR exercise and prepare adequately for new elections.
“Assuring Nigerians of free, fair and credible elections through the passage of the Electoral Bill will further reawaken the hope of people who have already given up on the system and also put Nigeria on the map of countries committed to a transparent electoral system,” Atoye said.
INEC has scheduled June 28 for the commencement of online registration for the CVR and July 19 for the commencement of physical registration of eligible registrants at its local governments and states offices across the country.
The commission, however, said the security situation would determine the date for the commencement of physical registration at its designated centres across the country.