LAGOS-the continuous voter registration (cvr) kicked-off in some PARTS OF LAGOS ON Wednesday with residents turning out at various centres to take part in the exercise.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) reported early in some centres to begin the exercise, while in others, eligible voters had to wait for them.
A NAN correspondent, who monitored the exercise at the Central Primary School, Ikeja, reports that the exercise started at about 9.00am.
Majority of the residents who came out for the registration were youths and the exercise was being conducted in an orderly manner.
Mr Temitayo Olalere, a student, urged other young Nigerians to participate in the exercise.
Olalere said his parents had ordered him to go and register because voting was part of his civic responsibilities.
He said: “I am very happy with the registration exercise and I have done mine this morning.
Another resident, Mr Wahab Akinkugbe, said INEC should ensure that the vote of Nigerians count in the 2015 elections.
“People have been here since morning just to be able to get their voter cards. They should be able to vote and decide who should lead them,” Akinkugbe said.
NAN reports that the INEC officials were also seen at a registration centre in Agidingbi, where where residents queued up to register.
At some centres at Lagos Island and Lagos Mainland local government areas, however, INEC officials and ad-hoc staff were not on ground at noon.
At polling unit 16, Lagos Island, Mr Muniru Afolabi, told NAN that he had been waiting for the registration officers since 8:30a.m. without anybody to attend to him.
NAN correspondents report that at Ward E, Olaleye, Lagos Mainland, eligible voters were also seen at about 12:30p.m waiting to be registered.
Residents waiting to be registered were also seen at a registration point by St Dominic Church, Yaba.
In Ikorodu, people waited to register and one of them told NAN at Polling Unit 16, United High School, Ikorodu, that the INEC officials arrived at 9.a.m but registration did not start until about 11a.m.
Mr Emmanuel Ubani, trader, told NAN:I have been here since 8.30am; and I am number 89 on the attendance list.
“They have just registered to the 56th person as at 4.30p.m.
“The officials got to our polling unit at about 9am, but did not start work until 11am; since then, the process been very slow.
“At first the officials had difficulty getting the computer to work, later they had to get a generator.
Mr Mojeed Mabodu, a furniture maker, told NAN that the process should be made faster.
“The delay has affected my business today since I had to close my shop because I have no apprentice.
“They should have more than three computers to make the process faster,’’ he said.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Lagos State, Dr Adekunle Ogunmola, however, explained the delay in the commencement of the CVR in some centres.
He told NAN that some corps members engaged by the commission failed to show up for the exercise.
“The staff of INEC is a small fraction of those that we will engage in the exercise in totality.
“For instance, some corps members we trained; when it is time for the exercise, they will say No, they are sorry they cannot take part in the exercise.
“So, our officials will now begin to look for extra people that have been trained.
“What we do in cases like this is to ensure that we train more than the people required, so that when people disappoint we have others to call.
“This is why you see the registration officers just going out,” Ogunmola said.
He stressed that the assignment was not compulsory for the corps members, and that they were at liberty to pull out at anytime.
NAN reports that the CVR, which began on Wednesday in 11 local government areas of the state, will end on Nov. 17.
It is for those who turned 18 years after the last registration exercise and those whose names are not on the register.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, on Wednesday urged Nigerians to vote irrespective of their religion and ethnic beliefs in 2015 general elections.
“Voting should be about good capabilities, capacity and good leadership and not by religion and ethnicity,” Orelope-Adefulire said.
She urged Nigerians to come out en mass and vote in the elections, saying that the future of the country depended on them.
The deputy governor also urged INEC to arrange and prepare for credible, free and fair elections. (NAN)