The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called for more partnership with Civil Society Organisations (CSO) toward cleaning the nation’s voters register, ahead of 2023 poll.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said this at the commission’s quarterly meeting with the CSOs in Abuja on Thursday.
Yakubu said that 12,298,944 new voters successfully completed their registrations at the just concluded Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
He said that after a rigorous cleaning-up of the data using the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS), a total of 2,780,756 (22.6 per cent) was identified as ineligible registrants and invalidated from the record, as a result of double/multiple registrations, under aged persons and out rightly fake registrations.
He said that after the delisting of the ineligible registrants, the a total of 9,518,188 newly registered voters has been added to the exiting 84,004,084 voters which gave Nigeria a total of preliminary 93,522,272 registered voters.
Yakubu said that in accordance to the law, the commission would be publishing the hard copies of the new register at designated centres of the 8,809 Registration Areas (Wards) and 774 LGAs across the country and the entire register on its website from Saturday, Nov. 12 to Friday, Nov. 25 for claim and objections by Nigerians.
“I will like to appeal to all Nigerians to seize the opportunity of the display to scrutinize the list and help us to clean it further so that the final register of voters for the 2023 general elections can be compiled and published.
“We played our own part which is to do the initial cleaning up of the register, but the law required that Nigerians should help us and that is why we’re printing 9.3 million copies of the register and display same at the wards and local governments nationwide.
“Let me once again appeal to civil society and Nigerians in general to please when we paste the list, check and scrutinise so that if there are still ineligible persons in the register kindly draw our attention to it so that at the end of the day we’ll have a clearer and better register for the election,” he said.
On the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), Yakubu said that INEC was working to ensure the completion of printing of remaining PVCs for new voters and those that applied for transfer or the replacement of their lost or damaged cards.
He said that in the coming days INEC would inform Nigerians of its plan to ensure a seamless connection of the PVCs.
“Since the end of the CVR in July This year we have been working to ensure that citizens have a pleasant experience when they come to collect their cards including collaboration with civil society organizations for a pilot exercise in the Federal Capital Territory.
“We have been doing a pilot of some of the civil society organizations and the FCT, we are exploring the possibility of scaling up the FCT pilot for nationwide application and we have been receiving separate letters from several civil society organizations offering to partner with the commission to ensure a seamless collection of the PVCs.
“At this meeting we will discuss both the FCT pilot, what we are doing with the CSOs and any other proposal the CSOs have to help us.
“This is our elections, it is not the INEC election. It is Nigeria elections. It is when we come together that we can have the kind of credible elections that We all expect.
“It is not just for INEC alone. It for all of us as Nigerians and we will make every information available to every conscientious individual or group that want to partner with the commission to deliver credible elections in 2023,” he said.
He called for the continued support of the CSOs, saying the ultimate objective of the commission was to deliver a credible election in 2023.
Speaking on behalf of the CSOs, the Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Women Trust Fund, Mrs Mufuliat Fijabi, expressed the organisations’ commitment to enhancing the process of election in Nigeria.(