LAGOS HERALD – The House of Representatives has disclosed that its call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the deadline for voters registration by 60 days may not be feasible.
Chairman of the House Committee on INEC, Aisha Dukku Dukku made this known while addressing journalists on Wednesday shortly after the plenary session.
According to her, the electoral umpire yielded to all resolutions of the House including the extension of voters registration.
“However, the İNEC said it will inform Nigerians in view of how many days it will agree to extend it. They said they will need time to clean up the register and to display voter’s register,” she said.
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The Committee Chair also said INEC has concluded plans to deploy additional machines and Adhoc staff following request by the House of Representatives to extend the deadline for voters registration.
She added that INEC told the committee that the registration days would now include weekends with additional hands to ensure a smooth registration exercise.
Recall that the House had on June 15 raised concern over the huge population that was willing to get registered and therefore directed the House Committee to meet with the electoral umpire following a motion by Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia).
İt urged INEC to extend the voter’s registration by 60 days away from the 30 days earlier scheduled to end the exercise.
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In a motion during plenary on Wednesday, Benjamin Kalu said that INEC declared in April that about 42 percent of the voter registration recorded since the commencement of CVR on 28 June 2021 were invalid, with about 20 million unclaimed Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).
He added that a large number of unregistered eligible voters willing to be registered as evidenced by the crowd seen at various registration centres, had resulted in congestion.
The Abia lawmaker stated that if nothing was done to improve the shortage of voter registration equipment and extend the deadline for voters registration, millions of Nigerians would be disenfranchised and would jeopardise the integrity of the 2023 general elections.
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As part of its resolution, the House mandated the Committee on Electoral Matters to engage INEC in order to examine and proffer solutions to the shortage of registration machines and manpower.
The House also urged INEC to deploy 30 additional voters registration machines in each local government area, train and deploy Adhoc staff to improve the shortage of manpower at registration centres.
It also resolved that security should also be provided for the Adhoc staff and report back within two weeks.