Voter registration to begin Q1 2021 , says Yakubu, INEC chair

● Seeks Electoral law amendment for diaspora voting.

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, told the Senate on Wednesday that voters’ registration will begin during the first quarter of 2021.

Yakubu, who appeared before the Senate Committee on INEC for 2021 Budget proposals’ defence in Abuja, explained that the commission was earmarking N1 billion for the exercise. The committee is led by Sen Kabiru Gaya, APC, Kano South.

Yakubu said: “For continuous voter registration, the commission will resume voter registration in the first quarter of 2021.

‘’Once we resume, it will be continuous for one and half years, at least until six months to the next general election. In other words, the commission is not going to resume voter registration for a week, two weeks or a month but we are working out the details.”

Professor Yakubu, who is also an advocate for diaspora voting, urged the National Assembly to amend the Electoral Act to accommodate diaspora and early voting. “The commission is desirous of giving Nigerians living abroad the right to vote, after all, all our neighboring countries do so. But it requires the amendment to the constitution and the Electoral Act for that to happen.

‘’We have already worked out the document. Once the law is amended today, we can roll out. We are ready. We have had several meetings with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, but we can’t go beyond what the law provides,’’ Yakubu said.

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