In preparation for the forthcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the commencement of Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) in both states.

The CVR in Edo and Ondo States is scheduled to take place simultaneously from Monday, May 27th, 2024, to Wednesday, June 5th, 2024, with registration centres open from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm daily, including weekends.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the announcement on Monday during the second regular quarterly consultative meeting with political party leaders.

He emphasized the importance of the CVR for new registrants and those seeking to transfer their registration, stressing that double or multiple registration is illegal.

Yakubu highlighted that due to the limited time before the gubernatorial elections, the registration process will occur at Ward levels and State headquarters instead of INEC Local Government offices. This adjustment aims to increase accessibility, with 192 Ward registration centres in Edo State and 203 centres in Ondo State, hé said.

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“We encourage those who have not collected their PVCs in the two States to seize the opportunity to do so,” Yakubu urged, emphasizing the importance of voter participation.

Furthermore, Yakubu informed party leaders about vacancies in National and State Assemblies, which will necessitate bye-elections in various constituencies across the country. The Commission will announce the dates for these bye-elections once preparations are concluded.

In response, Yusuf M. Dantalle, the National Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and National Chairman for Allied People’s Movement (APM), called for concerted efforts to protect Nigeria’s democracy. He stressed the need for local government autonomy, emphasizing grassroots participation in politics.

Dantalle condemned divisive politics and urged political parties to adhere to democratic ideals and processes. He also advocated for the review of high expression of interest and nomination fees charged by some political parties to enhance internal democracy.

“Leaders of political parties must live by example in deepening democracy by ensuring an environment conducive for successful elections,” Dantalle remarked, highlighting the importance of restoring trust and confidence in the electoral system.