INEC cancels 1.1m voter registrations

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has nullified 1,126,359 new voter registrations in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).

This represents 44.6 percent of 2,523,458 of the total registration.

This happened as the commission said 10 political parties have notified it about the conduct of their primaries.

However, it did not name the 10 political parties.

It was gathered that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have not given notice of their primaries.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who announced these while addressing reporters yesterday at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, warned political parties to adhere strictly to the election timetable to avoid “unhappy” consequences.

Yakubu said out of the 2,523,458 new registrations, 1,126,359, representing 44.6 percent, were invalid.

The INEC chairman explained that the infraction, which was uncovered while cleaning up the voter register, happened across the 36 states.

He said: “While the number of new registrants is very impressive and demonstrates the eagerness of Nigerians to vote in the forthcoming elections, the commission must clean up the data to ensure that only eligible Nigerians are registered.

“As you are aware, the foundation for any credible election rests on the credibility of the register of voters. The introduction of the biometric registration of voters in 2011 has helped to sanitize the register. You may recall that initially, 73,528,040 Nigerians were registered in 2011.

“Using the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), the commission was able to remove 4,239,923 invalid registrations. Consequently, the register of voters for the 2015 general election stood at 69,288,117 voters. “Subsequently, some 432,173 new voters have added to the register during the CVR exercises ahead of the off-cycle governorship elections in five states (Bayelsa, Kogi, Edo, Ondo, and Anambra) from late 2015 to early 2017, bringing the total number of registered voters in Nigeria to 69,720,350.

“Sadly, it seems that many registrants, either out of ignorance that they do not need to re-register if they had done so before, or a belief that our systems will not detect this infraction, have gone out to register again. This is despite repeated warnings by the commission against this illegal action.

“In addition, there are also registrants whose data were incomplete and did not meet our Business Rules for inclusion in the register. Both categories, that is, the failure of ABIS and incomplete data, constitute invalid registrations.”



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