Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has lamented low voters registration in Kaduna state in the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration (CVR).
Presenting a paper titled, “State of Continuous Voters Registration (CRV) in Kaduna state” to sensitise ulamas and Islamic scholars on the need to take serious the CVR in the state, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Asmau Sani Maikudi, noted that Kaduna state, which was rated third in the 2019 general elections after Lagos and Kano in voter figures, has dropped to almost 15th in the country.
She blamed insecurity, inadequate sensitisation, among other factors on the low voters registration in Kaduna state.
“When you look at the figures of 2019 general elections in terms of voters registration, Lagos came first, Kano second and Kaduna third. We began voters registration in June last year, we did the first quarter, second quarter and now we are in third quarter, and what we are seeing is that Kaduna is not doing very well, so we felt that we should engage stakeholders and sensitise them.
“We keep on telling the people to come register, and that it is not a new registration. The people who are now 18 years can now come and register. And I want to use this opportunity to tell the people that it is not true that 2011 voters card is no longer useful. It is not true. Over the years, Kaduna state has always been third nationwide after Lagos and Kano in terms of voter registration figures.
“Poor turnout of prospective registrants has pushed the figures down. This can be attributed to a number of factors which include insecurity, network downtime, lack of adequate sensitization, and inability to carry out rotation. The problem of insecurity which has been affecting the exercise in the state was brought to fore in the first phase of the exercise with the non-conduct of the registration in Birnin Gwari LGA after a security incident which affected our personnel.
“There’s also the partial conduct of the registration in some LGAS due to the activities of bandits and kidnappers, which led to shutdown of telecommunication services in seven (7) LGAS across the state. The exercise has also been hindered by clashes between herders and farmers which has claimed many lives, as witnessed in Kaura, Zangon-Kataf and Kachia LGAS.
“There has been a slight improvement since commencement of the thirdphase of the exercise with the online registration going up remarkably to 179.598 as at 24th January 2022. This is noticed especially in the metropolitan and urban LGAS due to the Commissions sustained effort with sensitization and enlightenment programmes,” he said.