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Utomi slams INEC over closure of voters’ registration, alleges disenfranchisement

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The suspension of voter registration exercise could result in the disenfranchisement of many Nigerians, according to Professor Pat Utomi, the convener of the National Consultative Front (NCF).

He requested that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)continued the voter registration at least till the end of October.

Professor Utomi who made the remarks at a press conference in Lagos, on Tuesday, said “We do not think it is proper to continue to disenfranchise Nigerians with this rush to cut off registration.

“The law allows Nigerians to be able to register even until November. They should at least keep registration open until the end of October.

“We get calls from people in the Diaspora who are very upset about it, who are trying to petition even the US government, the UN, saying the Nigerian government through INEC is trying to disenfranchise Nigerians. So we would like INEC to save itself that embarrassment.”

Professor Utomi also asked INEC to make it mandatory for contestants to participate in open debates.

“We would like to make INEC insist that anyone who cannot participate in a debate should be disqualified from that election; especially at the presidential, gubernatorial, and National Assembly levels,” he said.

“We should have open debates, and not one, not two, but multiple debates.”

Meanwhile, INEC had distanced itself from a fake Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) website.

Read also: Decision to step down for Peter Obi in Labour Party’s presidential race deliberate – Utomi

This announcement came after the commission suspended voter registration across the country.

According to the fake site, the Federal Government had approved individuals registering online to avoid unnecessary crowds.

In a statement issued by its National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, the commission warned Nigerians against falling prey to the scammers.

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