Wednesday 16th August, 2017
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2019: INEC begins nationwide voter registration

2019: INEC begins nationwide voter registration

The Independent Nation­al Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has formal­ly launched the nationwide voter registration exercise.
The exercise is designed to en­able Nigerians who have clocked 18 years after the 2015 general elections to register and partici­pate in future elections.
Other Nigerians, who are old­er than 18 years but have no voter cards, are also qualified to partic­ipate in the programme.
Yakubu, who signalled off the exercise in Abuja on Thursday, warned politicians not to hijack the process of Continuous Voter Registration holding in the coun­try’s 774 local government areas.
He kicked off the programme at the Abuja Municipal Area Council office of INEC at Karu.
The INEC boss noted that the exercise is only meant for those who have not registered before, those who have just reached the voting age of 18, as well as Nige­rians who have changed their res­idency and those who had earlier registered but could not have their names on the record.
He described the process as part of the commission’s efforts to the consolidation of the nation’s democracy, adding that the pro­cess would strive to put together the full biometric register of voters ahead of the 2019 elections.
Earlier, AMAC Chairman, Abdulahi Candido, urged INEC to extend the exercise to the hin­terlands to enable more Nigerians to register.
In Rivers State, INEC also be­gan the continuous voter registra­tion in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area.
In her address at the event, INEC National Commissioner for South-South Zone, Mrs. May Ag­bamuche-Mbu, said that the exer­cise is designed to register eligi­ble voters who could have reached voting age of 18 years and those who could not register previously.
She said that INEC is mandat­ed under Section 10 of the Elec­toral Act 2010 to update the vot­er register and make it available to every political party within 60 days after the year of registration.
Agbamuche-Mbu stated that the exercise will start from Mon­day till the conduct of the general elections in 2019.
In his remark, the Resident Electoral Commission (REC), El­der Aniedi Ikoiwak, said that the exercise will be handled by per­manent members of staff of INEC.
In a statement at the Govern­ment House, Port Harcourt, the Deputy Governor Ipalibo Harry Banigo, urged the people of De­gema Local Government Area and Rivers West Senatorial District to come out en-masse and register during the exercise.
She enjoined traditional rul­ers, politicians and other stake­holders in the state to mobilise their subjects who are 18 years and above to embrace the exercise.
Banigo also urged INEC to ensure that it provides the ma­terials and logistics needed for a hitch-free registration exercise in the state.
And in Kebbi State, INEC held a stakeholders’ meeting with representatives of political parties to set agenda for the commence­ment of the voter registration.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, the Acting Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Bello Magaji Isah, said that part of INEC’s arrangement was the recruitment and training of 150 members of staff, deployment of equipment and materials to the councils and upgrading of Direct Data Capture (DCC) machines among others.
He said that the exercise is basically for fresh registration of eligible voters, transfer of voters and distribution of permanent voter cards.

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