The leader of the National Consultative Front (NCF) and Convener of the Big Tent, Professor Pat Utomi, on Tuesday said the suspension of voter registration could lead to the disenfranchisement of many Nigerians.

He urged the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to resume voter registration until the end of October at least.

Professor Utomi made the comments while speaking at a World Press Conference in Lagos.

“We do not think it is proper to continue to disenfranchise Nigerians with this rush to cut off registration,” Professor Utomi said. “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.”