2023: Why We Can’t Extend Voter Registration – INEC 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says extending the voter registration exercise will hamper its preparations for the 2023 general elections. 

This is according to the Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Mike Igini who spoke during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“Now that we have officially suspended the CVR process, we have to consolidate; aggregate the data and thereafter run the biometric accreditation system to weed out all multiple registrants,” he said during the breakfast show on Friday.

“Thereafter, Section 19 [Electoral Act 2022] says we must do a one-week display of the voter register for the commission to accept claims; objections as it relates to either omitted names or names of individuals that ought not to be on that register as identified by people in the area.

“And how do you do that? You have to produce the preliminary register of voters for this purpose which means they have to be millions of these would-be voters. That will be posted in the entire wards and local governments of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that is a huge work.”

‘A Lot To Be Done

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1,733,479 PVCs Collected, 43,626 Unclaimed In Taraba - INEC
File photo of the Permanent Voter Cards.

 

He explained that after this, the electoral umpire will also produce and distribute the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to the new registrants.

“So, there is a whole lot to be done,” he said, noting that Section 17 of the Electoral Act only mandates the Commission to stop voter registration less than and not exactly 90 days to the election.

Aside from this, he said, “it is not only this that INEC will be doing”.

Igini said Nigerians should rather be concerned about voter turnout in the next election despite the outcry that greeted the suspension of the registration.

“What gives spice to the practice of democracy is mass participation,” the INEC official said.

The INEC REC expressed satisfaction with the recent wave of enthusiasm by Nigerians in the electoral process, likening it to what happened in the country in the lead-up to the 1993 poll.

Before his comment, the electoral body had suspended voter registration on July 31, saying 12 million persons were newly registered.

A breakdown of the data showed that about 71 percent of the newly registered voters are youths.  It also indicated that 8.7 million are between the ages of 18 and 34 while about 2.4 million are between ages 35 and 49.

Tinubu Backs APC Ex-Chairman Akande’s Criticism Of Party Leadership

 

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has backed the position of the party’s former interim National Chairman, Bisi Akande on the Caretaker Committee and the ongoing national registration and revalidation exercise.

Akande had on Thursday faulted the creation of the party’s caretaker and extra-ordinary convention planning committees and also picked holes in the ongoing exercise initiated by the committee, saying the registration is wasteful.

He also berated the Caretaker Executive Committee constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari last year, saying most aberrant authorities always end up in contempt and disgrace.

 

The ex-APC chairman asked the party’s current leadership to resist all temptations of “sit-tight syndromes” which according to him, usually characterized “most handpicked authorities in most underdeveloped countries of the world.”

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Addressing journalists on Saturday at his Ikoyi residence in Lagos, Tinubu said he would not fault Akande’s position but will endorse it.

APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu speaks to journalists at his Ikoyi residence during the party’s registration on February 6, 2021.

 

“Since we have a foundation and that foundation is on which the structure up till the present was built at the time of the registration of this party, I will not fault Baba Akande’s position; I will not but endorse it,” he said after being registered on Saturday.

“What we are doing now is a matter of addition and subtraction, free entry and free exit. You have joined a particular party; you have decided to leave that party. You have equal opportunity for new members to join and update the existing register of the party.”

The APC national leader said he hasn’t heard a situation whereby the party’s register submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the time of APC registration has been invalidated.

He described the party’s exercise as an update and revalidation of all those membership, adding that despite the APC witnessing several congresses and exits, it had complied with the nation’s Electoral Act.

The APC leader was accompanied by Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwoolu and the Osun State Governor, Isiaka Oyetola who is a member of the party’s caretaker committee, alongside several party leaders in the state.

Kaduna Govt Commences Registration Of Residents

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Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai

The Kaduna State Government has commenced the registration of all residents of the state under the Residency Card Registration Programme, aimed at identifying the actual number of citizens in the state and also to help in checking insecurity in the state.

According to the State Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Muhammad Abdullahi, the programme which is being run in collaboration with the National Identity Management Commission (NICM), is needed for an accurate database of the number of residents in the state.

This, he said, would enable the government to plan adequately for social services like schools, hospitals, markets, roads and other facilities.

Abdullahi said it is important for every citizen to be enrolled for the Residency Registration Programme as it will be the basis for them to enjoy certain free social services such as free education, healthcare among others.

The state government appealed to residents of the state to enrol in the Residency Card Programme, which will take place simultaneously across the three senatorial districts in the state.

Security Council Warns Against Registration Of Nigerians

The Security Council has warned states that engage in the registration of non-indigenes of their states  to desist forthwith or face the consequences.

The warning was handed down by the Director-General of the State Security Service, Mr Ekpenyong Ita, and the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abukabakar, who addressed reporters at the end of the Security Council meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Security Council meeting had in attendance, all the service chiefs, the Ministers of Defence, Police Affairs, Interior, the Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General of the SSS.

The meeting started about 10.00 in the morning and lasted till 1.00pm when they addressed the press. Other issues discussed include the war against insurgency in the northern part of the country.

According to the Federal Government, the location of the Chibok girls has been well known but the security agencies were being careful in their approach to avoid having casualties among the abducted girls.

 

UNIABUJA Lecturers Begin Warning Strike

It appears the drama at the University of Abuja has taken a twist, as the Chairman of ASUU of the university; Dr. Clement Chup with the support of the National Executive Council announced the commencement of a warning strike.

The lecturers at the university commenced the two weeks warning strike so as to drive home their demand,that is the removal of the Vice-Chancellor of the university and the implementation of the 2012 presidential panel report by the Federal Government.

According to Dr. Clement Chup during a news conference in Abuja, the implementation of the report would save the university from total collapse.

Meanwhile the Vice-Chancellor, Professor James Adelabu denies any plan by the university lecturers to embark on a strike action, as a splinter group called ASUU Integrity asked its members to shun the directive and commence normal academic and administrative duties for the 2012/2013 academic calendar as new intakes of the university resumed to start registration for the 2012/2013 academic session today the 29th of April 2013, while lecturers converge to hold a meeting to embark the planned two-week warning strike outside the school premises.

Now, many of the returning students who were forced to stay at home for five months when the school was forcefully closed may resume on the 5th of May 2013, to face new crisis. The uncertainty surrounding the future of the students has never been more profound, unless the Federal Government intervenes as quickly as possible.