Ahead of the display of names of newly registered voters and hearing of claims and objections later this month, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged the public to report noticed cases of underage registration.
Mahmoud Yakub, INEC Chairman, made the appeal on Thursday while addressing a session via video at the ongoing 4th edition of Social Media Week Lagos 2018.
The event, tagged ‘Let’s Talk Governance’ was organised by Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE) in collaboration with the United State Agency for International Development (USAID).
INEC started another phase of the nationwide Continuous Voters’ Registration ((CVR), on April 27, 2017, to capture those who attained 18 years of age and others who did not register.
It is also an opportunity for those seeking replacement of their cards or transfer of their voting locations, among others, to process their requests.
Mr. Yakub said that INEC would display names of registered voters in the first quarter of 2018 from March 26 to March 31, for claims and objections.
He said that the display of the register would allow registered voters check and correct their details before the printing of their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
”The display and hearing of claims and objections would begin on March 26 to end on March 31.
”I advise the public to take note of these dates by going to their registration centres to check for any form of mistakes in their data before the printing of the PVCs, ” he said.
Mr. Yakub urged the public to support the electoral body by putting forward their observations during the display and hearing of claims and objections, so that appropriate action could be taken.
”Investigation into the alleged incidence of underage registration and voting is ongoing, and we promise Nigerians that the matter will be fully investigated, ” he said.
The electoral chief said that the Commission was totally committed to using technology in the task of strengthening electoral processes in the country.
”Technology is key to enhancing the functionality of the commission. It is a tool that we will use to transmit election results electronically from polling units, as well as figures and images, for transparency.
”We will continue to use technology to further protect the integrity of our electoral processes, ” he said.
In his remarks, the United States Consul General in Lagos, John Bray, urged Nigerians to adopt the concept of ‘Self Policing’ in the use of the social media, especially as the political year was around the corner.
”The U.S. Government is excited about the growth of social media in Nigeria. It is a market place of ideas and a powerful tool to put out ideas.
”Every citizen now has free access to democratic ideas, but when you see bad ideas, use the social media to counter such ideas; just like we have in ‘Balanced Journalism’, to get out a balanced truth,” Mr. Bray said.
Meanwhile, the commission said it had received no fewer than 108 fresh applications from associations seeking registration as political parties.
The commission had in December registered 21 new political parties.
The registration of the new parties brought the total number of registered political parties in the country to 68.
Mr. Yakub said the fresh applications were being processed by the commission.
“As of Friday, we received no fewer than 108 fresh applications from political associations seeking to be registered as political parties.
“We have begun the processing and scrutinising the applications and we will register those that meet the eligibility criteria,’’ he said.
The INEC chairman said that the commission would continue to register political associations as parties so long as they meet the set guidelines.