By Adekola Afolabi
The Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun, has appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise which came to an end last Friday.
He said the extension which afford many prospective voters who have just clocked 18 years and above and have not been able to register the opportunity to do so to enable them exercise their franchise in the forthcoming elections.
He particularly lauded the state governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, for declaring last week Thursday work free day to further give residents of the state the opportunity to register before the exercise came to an end on Friday.
INEC had announced last Friday as the last day for CVR exercise.
But speaking on the exercise yesterday, the Speaker who lauded the people of the state for their large turnout for the CVR exercise, however, explained that many Nigerians, especially residents of the state are still unable to get themselves registered during the exercise due to slow pace of the INEC data capturing machines and other reasons.
He commended the INEC for the exercise so far which he added will give eligible Nigerians the opportunity to exercise their franchise in the forthcoming elections.
According to Oleyelogun, thousands of citizens of the state could not still register before the exercise came to an end because of the slow pace of the registration process, coupled with the fact that many eligible voters live very far from INEC local government registration centres across the state.
The Speaker disclosed that many eligible voters from his Ifedore State constituency complained to him that they were still not able to register after several attempts to do so, due to long distance and slow pace of registration process.
He noted that the registration centre which is one per local government is too far from eligible voters who live in the nooks and crannies of each local government, saying that such should be decentralised to move the exercise nearer to the people and give prospective voters the opportunity to register.
Investigation revealed that the last registration day was seriously busy and chaotic as hundreds of eligible voters thronged the only INEC registration centre for Akure South which is located along Oda Road, Akure, to get registered.
The people complained about slow pace of registration process and equally called for extension of the exercise to give opportunity for prospective voters.
At the centre, some people who could no longer endure the rigour of the registration left the centre angrily.
Some of the prospective voters including Olaniyi Samuel, Babatunde and Abigail advised INEC to extend and decentralise the exercise to give more time for residents to register, saying the current situation will disenfranchise some eligible voters in the state.
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