INEC mobilises 5,346 officials, 2,600 machines for voter registration
•Rules out underage capturing, threatens offenders with prosecution
Amid security concerns, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has concluded plans to deploy 5,346 officials and 2,600 enrolment machines for the 2,673 centres billed for the nationwide voter registration beginning from June 28,2021.
While the electoral body also created a portal for online pre-registration to check overcrowding, it reiterated that Nigerians must conclude the process physically at designated locations.
Reechoing the security threats in the country at the second quarterly consultative meeting with the media yesterday in Abuja, INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, observed that the commission’s staff and equipment could be targets of criminals.
“We are concerned about the security issues in some parts of the country. The commission would be deploying 5,346 officials to 2673 registration centres. What happens if any of these staff is abducted? Our responsibility is to conduct credible election and also protect our staff. The security agencies are also facing challenges and there have been concerns that INEC officials might be target of criminals. What then is the best way to deploy these officials and machines while also ensuring their safety?” he queried.
He said the exercise would be carried out continuously for over a year until the third quarter of 2022, adding that the commission was targeting at least 20 million new voters.
Yakubu hinted that the electoral body had also made robust provision for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who might have misplaced their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) due to insecurity.
The INEC boss canvassed mass sensitisation of the citizens on the new polling units.
He appealed to the media to support the commission in the area of voter education.
The commission vowed to prosecute any citizen that provides false information during the exercise.
In his remarks at the presentation of the new INEC Voter Enrollment Device (IVED) and procedures for the online registration, the Director of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Chidi Nwafor, warned that offenders would be prosecuted under the Cybercrime Act 2015.
He stated said the issues of multiple and underage registration would no longer occur with the introduction of new technology by the commission.
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