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WHY INEC CAN'T AFFORD ANOTHER NATIONWIDE EXTENSION

By NBF News
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Against the background of criticism of the extension of the voters' registration in some areas rather than covering the entire nation, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has explained why it opted for selective extension of the exercise.

According to the commission, the huge cost involved was a major factor that restrained the commission from further nationwide extension.

The commission stated yesterday that the selective extension was to mop-up registrants in heavily populated centres and polling units across the country where it verified that there were still long queues as at the close of the exercise on Saturday, February 5.

Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Kayode Idowu said the explanation was necessary to dispel misgivings already expressed in some quarters over the option, especially the argument that the fresh extension should have been applied nationwide.

In a statement signed by him, INEC said: 'following the expiration of the 7-day nationwide extension of the exercise last Saturday, selective mop-up is the best the commission can do now to make room for more registrants preparatory to the April elections. 'Another nationwide extension is not feasible considering the huge cost implications and legal as well as time constraints.

'Besides, by the end of the previous extension last Saturday, the commission estimated that between 60 and 65 million people had been registered. The commission reassured that beyond April, there would be opportunity for continuous voters' registration on a sustainable basis.