Osun, Voter Registration To Hold March 12 -19

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed March 12 to March 19 for the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) for Osun and Ekiti governorship elections.

INEC Director (Voter Registration) Emmanuel Akem made the disclosure at a Stakeholders’ Forum on the “Status of Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) toward the 2015 general elections’’, on Thursday in Abuja.

According to him, this will enable the commission to accommodate all complaints that may arise from voter registration before the governorship elections.

He said that the commission would use Registration Area Officers (RAOs) for the registration at ward levels.

Akem added that INEC was looking at the possibility of using mobile platforms to carry out the registration.

He said that the CVR would correct some of the anomalies detected in the 2010 voter register, stressing that the CVR was not for those that could not register in 2010.

“We want to use the opportunity of the CVR to correct some of the mistakes in terms of biometrics in the previous registration.

“The choice of the registration centres at the ward has to do with increasing the participation in the process,’’ he said.

He, however, noted that those who could not register at the ward could come to the INEC Local Government offices to register.

The director also said that the commission would comply with the Electoral Act that places N100,000 fine on any person involved in multiple registrations.

Earlier, Dr Hussaini Abdu, Country Director, ActionAid International, Nigeria, said that the credibility of the voter registration was a major determinant of a credible election.

Abdu  said that the civil society organisation had been clamouring for credible voter register since 1998.

He noted that the country had not voted with a permanent voter card since 1999, adding that the development informed civil society organisations to engage in the proposed Electoral Act.

The country director emphasised that the INEC was approaching the continuous voter registration in a seasonal manner.

“You do not need a particular date to secure an international passport. You just walk into the office of the Immigration service and apply for one as long as you meet the requirement.

“That is the same way voter registration should be done. So, the continuous voter registration, as the name implies, should be continuous in its actual meaning,’’ Abdu said.

He suggested that INEC should have offices at both local and state levels where people could go to vote.

Abdu said that the civil society organisations were concerned about how to have systematic approach to the continuous voter registration.

The event was organised by the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) and four other international agencies.