Nigeria starts voter registration ahead of 2015 poll Nigerian expatriates working or living abroad will not be allowed to register or vote



LAGOS (AA) – Nigeria on Wednesday began another phase of the voter-registration process ahead of general elections slated for early next year.

“This is to enable those who were either underage or unable to register during the last exercise to do so,” Kayode Idowu, a spokesman for Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, told Anadolu Agency.

The Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise will be conducted in phases, just like the distribution of permanent voter cards for those who have already registered.

The exercise will begin simultaneously in at least 12 of the country’s 36 states and will wrap up on August 25, according to the electoral commission.

Nigerian expatriates working or living abroad will not be allowed to register or vote.

Nigeria currently has roughly 63 million registered voters out of a total population of over 160 million.

“I am determined to vote; that’s why I must register,” David Atolagbe, 19, told AA in Ibadan, provincial capital of Oyo State.

Imran Alao, a student at the University of Ibadan, said he and many of his colleagues had just registered.

“I just registered now and a number of our colleagues have also done so,” Alao, who registered at a CVR center near the university, told AA.

“We went there early to avoid the rush and the long queue; I’m glad I achieved that,” he said. “There is this enlightenment and determination for people to register.”

Kudirat Boluwaduro, a fish seller at Bere market in Nigeria’s largest city, complained about the apparent dearth of registration centers.

“I need to go back to my shop because I can’t stand this queue,” she told AA.

Kehinde Basheer, a University of Abuja student, voiced similar sentiments.

“I was there early, but the queue was too long and I know of just one center around here,” Basheer told AA.

“They should add more centers,” Basheer said. “At this rate, people could be frustrated.”

Nigeria will hold presidential, gubernatorial and parliamentary polls in 2015.

President Goodluck Jonathan is eligible to run for reelection, but has yet to declare whether he will enter the race.

Gubernatorial polls will be held in most of the country’s 36 states.

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