Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has stated that the commission will continue to clean up the voters’ register in order to reduce underage and ineligible voting.
Yakubu made the announcement during an interactive session with journalists in Lagos on Friday. “We are making efforts to make sure we eradicate underage voting and also ineligible voting.
“That is why we threw the register open to all Nigerians who I think own it. The register is pasted at all the polling units and wards in all the 774 local government areas of Nigeria for clarity and objections by Nigerians.
“We are now harvesting the claims and objections by Nigerians to work on them and make sure that we continually clean up the register.
“I am assuring you that we will continue this exercise because INEC register is a national asset that Nigerians should be proud of,” he said.
Yakubu stated that INEC was working with security agencies on the possibility of holding elections in violent areas. “Our responsibility is clearly cut out and that is to conduct the coming elections in all parts of the country. Security agencies provide security.
“Presently, we are working with security agencies to conduct the 2023 elections. We are determined and committed, and with the support of everybody, not only the security agencies, we will conduct credible elections in all parts of the country in 2023 and subsequently.
“For example, who believed that we we will have a credible election in Anambra in 2021? But we did because there was collaboration between INEC and the security agencies to make sure we had free and fair governorship poll there.”
The INEC chairman, on the other hand, assured that the commission was working hard to ensure that all registered voters cast ballots.
“Those whose Permanent Voters’ Cards are burnt will vote if they apply for a new card. We will reprint those cards and the owners can vote. This also covers those who have lost their PVCs,” the chairman said.
Yakubu stated that the commission was very concerned about electoral violence, including targeted attacks on its facilities, destruction of its offices, and materials, and that it was not a good omen for the 2023 elections.
While urging the National Assembly to establish the proposed Electoral Offences Commission and Tribunal, Yakubu stressed the importance of effectively punishing electoral offenders.
He begged journalists to help him combat misinformation, disinformation, and fake news. The event was attended by INEC National Commissioners and Directors, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).