NUP seeks Act amendment making NIN mandatory for voters’ registration
Nigerians United for Peace (NUP) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to take urgent steps to amend the 2022 Electoral Act and re-issue New Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) which will contain the National Identification Number (NIN) details of eligible voters.
Dr Hammeda Khazaly-Mohammed of National Patriots made the call on behalf of the NUP, Monday in Abuja at the end of an emergency meeting of the executives.
According to Khazaly-Mohammed, the Act, if amended to allow registration with NIN, Nigeria will enable Nigerians to experience everlasting peace at elections while government concentrates on rebuilding the nation rather than fighting ethnic and religious battles for the emergence of competent candidates.
He explained: “Firstly, INEC issued over 80 million PVCs but less than 25 million voters were accredited because many Nigerians, especially from the South-East registered in several places–Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and South-East States. Investigations revealed that many Nigerian voters and political stakeholders possess five to six PVCs.
“This must be made a criminal offence and the use of the NIN for registration will address this lapse. We intend to write and partner with INEC in this regard.”
Adding: “It is very important for registration of the new PVCs to be conducted in the voter’s state of origin. In this way, there would be a level of authenticity by their local government to confirm them as indigenes of the constituency. This is a political project and must be conducted with due process and best practices.
“We are all aware that the constitution permits all Nigerians to reside and trade anywhere in Nigeria, but registering to vote and voting are civic responsibilities and not mandatory.
“The constitution was silent on this and the Act establishing INEC gives it rights to amend the electoral laws to address issues which may undermine the integrity of its processes. We are of the opinion that INEC has the right to re-issue upgraded PVCs and direct the Voters to register in their respective States of origin.
“All over the world, only indigenes vote for parliamentarian elections because the decisions regarding governance affect them as Indigenes.
“In Nigeria today, someone is voting for a Governor without any idea of their culture, sensitivities and sensibilities because he is a trader in the constituency. That is a recipe for tension, violence and bitterness. It is important that those interested in voting should return to their states of origin to exercise their voting rights or remain in their host state conducting their commercial activities and not engaging in political activities.
“In this way, Nigeria shall experience an unimaginable peace never before conceived. There will be better harmony between the indigenes and the non-indigenes. This will go a long way to ensure more realistic figures for elections in Nigeria.”
“We put this challenge to the outgoing government of President Muhammadu Buhari and INEC Chairman Prof Mahmood Yakubu as this would be the best legacy for Nigerians. We look forward to a fast action on this proposal for unity, peace and reduced election issues which has embarrassed Nigeria”, she stated.
NUP also recommended strict discipline for negative social media content, edited, manipulated videos, audio and speeches.
She noted that the social media needs to be sanitized as many voters do not know fake content from authentic ones, and this has caused serious damage to political personalities. “INEC should please address this too.”