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INEC records 93.5 million registered voters

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By Timothy Akintola

Bimodal Voters Accreditation to be implemented for the 2023 general election.

In the wake of the impending 2023 general elections, Nigerians continue to be more focused than ever in electing political figures that will elevate the country from the current social and economic predicaments. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has authenticated 93.5 million Nigerians as qualified to participate in the voting exercises of the forthcoming election. Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of INEC made this known during the third quarterly meeting with the political parties. He indicated that at least 12.29 million Nigerians had also successfully finished their registrations in the recently concluded Continuous Voters Registration (CVR). He also indicated that upon intense clean-up of the data with the Automatic Biometric Identification System (ABIS), an estimated 2.78 million were detected as ineligible registrants and removed.

At the Inter-Party Advisory Council where a vote of confidence was passed on him for his ideas towards reshaping the country’s electoral process, Yakubu also noted that this clean-up led to the detection of 23 registration officers alleged to have engaged in the multiple registration of Nigerians. The political parties also lauded the deployment of the innovative Bimodal Voters Accreditation System and INEC’s Result Viewing IReV Portal implemented in the recent elections in the country. At the meeting, Yakubu noted that the decision to implement the BVAS and IReV for the forthcoming election was final. He thus noted that training of master trainers and zonal ad hoc staff on the election technology to ensure a perfect electioneering process was in place.

Staff who attempted to indulge in insincere acts to be punished.

The INEC Chairman stated that at the end of the just concluded CVR, 12,298,944 Nigerians completed their registrations and a whooping 26 percent were identified as ineligible or invalidated. Some of these invalidated registrations included instances of voters being registered multiple times, underage individuals and overtly fake registrations which failed to meet INEC’s prerequisites. Per demographics, 7.2 million new voters were youths, accruing 76.5 percent of the new registrants. Females also recorded 4.8 million of the new registrants, compared to the 4.6 million male registrants.

Yakubu disclosed that the commission positioned numerous diligent staff for the CVR exercise and while many of these staff members delivered their tasks conscientiously, others indulged in insincere acts. Some of the staff attempted to register fake voters and disciplinary actions have commenced against them. The Chairman also noted that the 9,518,188 new registrants had been added to data that contained the existing 84,004,084 voters. He also disclosed that the coming days will see the commission print all pages of the register, where the hard copies would be displayed in every registration ward and 774 local government areas in the country. The list would also be published on INEC’s website for the essence of claims and objections, as required by the constitution.

INEC to update Nigerians on plans to ensure seamless PVC collection.

He stated that the commission was working extremely hard to guarantee the completion of the printing of the total PVCs for all the new voters, as well as for those who applied for location transfers or replacement of damaged or lost cards. Yakubu pointed that while they understood the expectations of Nigerians for enhanced paradigms for the collection of their cards, the commission was putting together ideas to suite these expectations and as such, Nigerians would soon be updated on the commission’s plan for a seamless collection of their PVCs. He disclosed that the commission had been working to ensure that citizens feel pleasant experiences during the collection of their PVCs since the CRV ended in July.

Engineer Yabagi Yusuf Sani, IPAC Chairman, speaking on behalf of the political parties, commended the leadership and consistent demonstration of the electoral commission, noting that INEC’s directives were on the right track for the election. He also condemned the attacks geared towards the INEC Chairman, by figures employing unrecognized groups to launch attacks on the commission and its chairman, and for his commitment to improving the electoral process by implementing technology. He noted that the commission’s stance on the issue of this technological implementation would be immense in defining the legacy of electoral commission’s chairman. IPAC expressed concerns over negative signals and conducts towards election officials.

IPAC condemned the use of divisive language by political parties.

Sani again noted that IPAC’s leadership had noticed the increasing use of divisive languages and hate speech, by spokespersons of some of the political parties. In his media rounds and political rallies, he promised that it would be addressed. He also promised that soon enough, IPAC’s efforts in guaranteeing decency and issue-based campaigns would be manifested.

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