By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday announced the inclusion of weekends and public holidays as work days of its personnel in ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
It, however, stated that the extension to those days would commence on Aug. 1 and end on Aug. 17 when the exercise would be suspended until after the 2019 general elections.
The commission disclosed this in statement by its National Commissioner and Member, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mallam Mohammed Haruna, in Abuja.
The statement said that decision to extend the registration period was reached at commission’s meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) from all the states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) which reviewed the nationwide exercise.
It added that the exercise would also be extended from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, instead of the current daily duration of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“Against the backdrop of the decision to suspend the exercise from Aug.17 until after the 2019 general elections, it was resolved that starting from Aug. 1, the CVR exercise will take place between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. instead of 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. as obtains presently.
“It was also resolved that there will also be registration on Saturdays and Sundays as well as public holidays (if any) within the period.”
The commission assured Nigerians of its commitment to ensuring free, fair and credible elections in 2019, and said that it had reviewed the conduct of Saturday’s governorship election in Ekiti.
It also said that it had started preparations for the governorship election Osun scheduled for Sept. 22.
“INEC noted the satisfactory conduct of the Ekiti governorship election as attested to by both domestic and international Observers, the Media and other Stakeholders.
“The meeting also noted with deep concern, the rising phenomenon of vote-buying during elections and restates its commitment and determination to continue to work with all stakeholders, especially the security agencies, to stem the ugly trend.” (NAN)