More Nigerians might be unable to exercise their franchise during the 2023 elections after a alarming report published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday.
Festus Okoye, the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, in the report titled “Update On The Cleaning Up Of New Registrations,” detailed the reason for the high number of invalid Continuous Voter Registrations which ended on July 31, 2022.
He noted that during the clean-up process of the voters’ register, the commission discovered that “out of the 2,523,458 (Two million, five hundred and twenty-three thousand, four hundred and fifty-eight) fresh registrants that registered between 28 June 2021 and 14th January 2022, 1,126,359 (One million, one hundred and twenty-six thousand, three hundred and fifty-nine) records were found to be invalid and consequently delisted.”
Okoye also explained that the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) for the last two weeks in July was almost completed, which revealed a lot of ineligible registrants.
“The ABIS for the period 15th January to 31st July 2022 is almost completed. Several double, multiple and ineligible registrants have also been detected and invalidated. These include entries that fail to meet the Commission’s business rules. The Commission takes this responsibility seriously because a credible register is at the heart of electoral integrity.
“As soon as the process is concluded, the Commission will provide the public with full information as usual. Thereafter, valid registrants will be added to the existing national register of voters before publishing same nationwide for scrutiny, claims and objections by citizens as required by section 19 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022.
“We reassure Nigerians that a thorough process is being undertaken to clean up the registration data. Similarly, Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) for all valid registrants will be available for collection by the end of October/early November as promised,” the INEC Commissioner stated.
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