Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has formally presented the national register of voters to the nation’s 91 political parties, with a registered voting population of a little over 84 million.
Presenting the register at yesterday’s quarterly consultative meeting with political parties in Abuja, chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, also assured Nigerians that there was no plan to create new polling units or voting points, aside from those used for the 2015 general elections.
He said: “As you would have noticed, the commission has been diligently implementing the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2019 general elections. We have so far implemented eight out of 14 activities.
“At this meeting, we shall implement the 9th activity by publishing the final register of voters for the 2019 general elections as required by law. In fulfilment of this legal requirement, the commission has made available to each political party a copy of the entire national register of voters. “After the mandatory display of the register in all polling units nationwide for claims and objections from November 6-12, 2018, the final register for the 2019 General Elections stands at 84,004,084 voters.”
In the final register presented, yesterday, Lagos State accounted for about 6.6 million voters, followed by Kano with 5.5 million registered voters. When viewed according to regions, the North West has the highest number of registered voters with over 20.2 million, followed by South-West with 16.3 million voters. The South-East has the least with slightly over 10 million voters; North East, 11.3 million; North Central, 13.4 million; and South-South, 12.9 million. Also male voters constitute 44.4 million, while females account for 39.6 million voters. Yakubu added that the commission had printed and delivered the Permanent Voters’ Cards, PVCs, to the states for collection by registered voters, urging all registered voters who have not collected their PVCs to approach any of INECs local government area offices and other designated collection centres nationwide to pick up their cards.
He said: “While we are encouraged by the response so far, millions of cards are still yet to be collected. I wish to reiterate that the commission will not allow the collection of PVCs by proxy. Registered voters should endeavour to collect their cards personally without which no person can vote on Election Day.”
He reiterated the Commission’s policy that the Smart Card Readers will be used for the 2019 General Elections for accreditation of voters. He said; “For clarity, I wish to stress that the function of the Smart Card Reader during accreditation is to confirm, verify and authenticate the voter. First, it shall be used to confirm that the PVC is genuine and issued by INEC.
Cloned cards or cards that do not match the codes for a particular polling unit in which the voter is registered will be rejected by the Card Readers. Secondly, the Card Readers shall verify that the voter who presents the PVC is the actual owner of the Card by ensuring that the personal details on the Card Reader are consistent with the manual register for the polling unit.
Thirdly, the Card Reader shall be used to authenticate the fingerprint of the voter as an additional confirmatory procedure. If the fingerprint is not authenticated by the Card Reader but the PVC is confirmed as genuine and the voter’s personal details are consistent with the manual register, he/she shall be allowed to vote.