By Omeiza Ajayi
NATIONAL Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu has advised would-be-voters to take advantage of the ongoing display of voters list in all the polling units of the country to confirm the status of their registrations.
The INEC on November 6, 2018, began a week-long nationwide display of the Register of Voters to be used for the 2019 general elections.
The display of the Register is in accordance with the provision of Section 20 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and aimed at providing citizens the opportunity to help the Commission clean up the register. Nigerians would also use the opportunity to engage in claims and objections.
The INEC Chairman said: “Although the Commission has dutifully cleaned up the register using the Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), it is the right of citizens under the law to examine the register and exercise their civic duty by drawing the attention of the Commission to the prevalence of any ineligible persons so that together we can further clean it up.
“For emphasis, eligibility to register and vote in Nigeria is open only to citizens who have attained the mandatory age of 18 years and resident in the places they registered. Such citizens must also not register more than once. The Commission will also appreciate the assistance of citizens in identifying deceased persons on the register so that such names can be annulled from our record. It is also an opportunity to correct misspellings of personal details such as names, age and gender.”
The INEC register of voters is the largest data base of citizens in Nigeria containing names, photographs and biometric details. It is a national asset that should be protected and perfected. Ownership of the register by citizens and their involvement in cleaning it up is crucial to the electoral process.
The display would take place in all polling units nationwide, while hearing of claims and objections would be done at ward centres, from 9:00am to 3:00pm daily.