The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Zamfara State, says it has extended the daily closing it hour for its staff to capture more eligible registrants at the centres in Gusau.
Professor Saidu Ahmed, Zamfara INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), gave the assurance in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gusau on Thursday.
The daily official closing hour for the exercise was set at 2 p.m. Mondays to Fridays.
“But we now close our gates at 2.p.m. but we make sure all those present at the premises of the centres get enrolled before we close for the day.”
The Commission said it had also deployed five additional data capturing machines to fast track the exercise in the state.
Ahmed said the development was part of INEC’s effort to ensure that it registered most if not all eligible registrants before the end of 60 days new deadline (August 30) set by the commission.
He said the commission had also increased logistics to transport its staff to hard to reach areas for the residents to take advantage of the work-free week (June 20 to June 24) declared by the state government.
“We have introduced the use of motor-bikes to cover the hard to reach areas within the headquarters of the 14 local government areas of the state for that purpose.
“You know, for now we cannot go beyond the LG’s headquarters due to security concern in parts of the state.
“But I can assure you, we are doing our best to get as many eligible registrants from such areas enrolled through the assistance of stakeholders who also transport their people to the centres,” he said.
Gusau residents and prospective registrants had earlier appealed to INEC to deploy additional officials to enable more people to enroll.
Some of the residents told NAN that they took advantage of the work-free week to enrol in the Voter Registration.
They, however, lamented the slow nature of the enrolment exercise due to the few number of INEC officials deployed at various centres.
Some of the eligible registrants said they had completed the registration since October 2021 but were asked to pick their PVCs in January 2022.
“We went back several times to collect the PVCs; the officials would say they were not ready.
“But we are determined to ensure we collected them before the general poll in 2023,” Abdul Suleiman a resident said.
Another registrant, Emmanuel Ikeme told NAN that the exercise was easy for him because he registered online but he came to INEC for physical capturing and thumb printing.
Ikeme, however, complained that the process was slow and urged the commission to deploy more personnel for faster enrolment of eligible voters.
The Commission’s head of Voter Education and Publicity, Bello Ibrahim, however, noted that INEC had deployed five additional data capturing machines to fast track the exercise in the state.
Residents, especially youth and women, have been turning out in large numbers to register at the four centres in Gusau.