The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday urged the National Population Commission (NPC) to furnish it with record of dead citizens since 2015 to enable it to “sanitise’’ the voter register.
Chairman of the commission, Mahmood Yakubu, a professor, made the request when he visited the Chairman of NPC, Eze Duruiheoma, in Abuja.
He said that the records were necessary to enable the electoral umpire to expunge names of dead persons from the national voter register.
“We will like to partner NPC and ask that the population commission make available records of dead citizens since 2015 to enable us take necessary steps to remove them from the voter register.
“We are confident that you will oblige us so that we can further clean up our voter register ahead of the 2019 general elections,” Mr. Yakubu said.
According to him, the commission is determined to do whatever it takes to sanitise the voter register as a free, fair and credible election is dependent on a sanitised voter register.
The chairman said that as provided by the Constitution, both commissions were saddled with similar responsibilities.
“While INEC is saddled with the responsibility of registering eligible voters, the population commission registers births and deaths of citizens across the country,” he said.
He disclosed that a draft copy of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between both agencies had been submitted to the population commission for its consideration.
“When the MoU is signed, it will formalise and enhance collaboration between the sister agencies for the general development of the country,” Mr. Yakubu said.
Responding, Mr. Duruiheoma commended INEC for the initiative to sanitise the voter register using records of NPC.
He said the collaboration between the sister agencies in the performance of statutory duties was very pivotal to national development.
According to Mr. Duruiheoma, “if we get our elections and censuses right, our nation will be on the way to greatness.”
He said that the commission would commence the process of making the records of deaths across the country available to INEC.
He, however, said that the commission could not pretend to have the records of every birth or death that had occurred since 2015.
“We look forward to the day when every single birth or death case will be efficiently documented by the commission,” Mr. Duruijeoma said.
He said that copies of the MoU had been circulated among relevant officers within the commission and that necessary inputs were already being made.
He assured the INEC chairman of his readiness to sign the MoU once it was finalised.