Nigerians, on Wednesday, led by the TakeItBack movement, took to the streets of Abuja in protest, to demand an extension of the deadline for registration of voters.
INEC had announced August 17, 2018, as the deadline for Nigerians to participate in the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise.
The protest was organised by the OurMumuDonDo movement, in collaboration with the Presidential Aspirants Coming Together (PACT) initiative, and concerned Civil Society Organisations.
The protesters, who were mainly youths, turned out en masse parading a big banner, with the hashtag #LetNigeriansVote.
Speaking on what necessitated the protest, Ariyo Dare, who described the move by INEC as unconstitutional, said it was “unimpressive, uncivilised and uncultured."
He said: "We have come here to express our concerns. According to the Constitution, Nigerians should continue with registration until sixty days to election.
“If INEC has any problem printing Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) or has faulty and damaged machines, the earliest they can stop is October 16, 2018. What we are saying is that the registration should continue till that date. There are people who will turn 18 years after May 29 and they should not be deprived of their PVCs.”
Also present at the rally was Omoyele Sowore, a presidential candidate in the forthcoming elections, who has single-handedly engaged crowds of Nigerians in more than 60 sixty townhall meetings, including in Zamfara State.
Speaking on why they were calling for an extension of the deadline, Sowore said: "We are here today to make a very strong statement. We are here to disorganise the system that has been holding us to ransom and the only way we can do it is to register massively and vote corrupt politicians out in 2019.
"If we are denied our voter cards, we will be denied the opportunity to vote in 2019 and we have come to INEC not to beg, but to serve them the notice to do this according to the law. We must vote the enemies of democracy out of power and the only way we can do this is to get this PVC.”
The Sahara Reporters publisher, who has stirred the atmosphere in the last few weeks by pulling massive crowds to him, also urged INEC “to be creative and commonsensical because they can see that Nigerians are turning 18 every day."
According to him, "Registration should be every day for Nigerians. We must also start making preparations for Nigerians in any part of the world to register and vote anywhere they are. I strongly believe it's the only way we can flush out dead woods in our democratic system."
Also present at the rally were Kingsley Moghalu; convener of the OurMumuDonDo movement, Mr Charles Oputa, among others.