The Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has rejected the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s figure of 4.8 million registered voters in the state.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the party put the figure of registered voters in the state at 6.2 million.
“A total of 6,247,845million registered. Surprisingly, the recent figure claimed by INEC has whittled that figure down to 4.8 million,” the APC said in the statement.
“The reasons for this sudden and steep drop are shrouded in mystery and suspicion due to the lack of INEC transparency. Polling Units whose registered voters have been reduced to zero are on the increase and the number of such empty units now stands at a staggering 1801.
“Not included in this 1801 are people who have attained voting age of 18 are eligible to be registered as voters. The question INEC needs to answer is how did all these names get wiped down to zero?
“It boggles the mind that in a densely populated and politically active state such as Lagos there can be so many units with no registered voters at all. This belies the recent history of voting in the Lagos. It makes no logical sense. The voters did not disappear but something made their names disappear from INEC’s rolls. Something sinister is afoot.”
The party called on INEC to make public the entire voting register of Lagos to explain the disparity in the figures.
“The register is a public document and the electorate deserves to know what happened. The names, photos and relevant data must be disclosed to the public.
“There are more questions for INEC. When did they discover their system was faulty and what steps have they taken to correct it? This also raises a question about the integrity of the software used to detect the errors.”
The APC said that INEC had been idle and had failed to update its voters’ register since the 2011 general elections.
“CR (Continuous Registration) has been nothing but words spoken not actions taken. INEC has taken no corrective action since it discovered names were missing? With less than 4 months to the elections INEC has fumbled its register,” the party said.
“Unpreparedness has become INEC’s institutional trademark. Time is against them to establish a credible new register by collection of new data. We must bear in mind equally that those under 18 years and who are now eligible to vote will also have to be captured and registered.
“Unfortunately, we are saddled with an INEC that has failed to take care of those who should have been on the original register not to talk of Nigerians who have just recently attained voting age.
“INEC has had four long years since the 2011 elections to perfect the register, yet it sat idle and failed to deliver to Nigeria a credible register. This is a grave abdication of duty and portends ill for the upcoming election. What can INEC do in four months that it has been unable to do in four long years?”
The INEC had, on Thursday, stated that the PVC distribution would begin in only 11 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state, scheduling the remaining nine LGAs to hold between 28th and 30th of November.
The APC accused the electoral body of planning to collude with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to disenfranchise voters and rig the election in Lagos.
“Going by this shoddy and disorganised and unreliable method of distributing the PVCs in the 11 local government areas, INEC has shown its hands,” the statement said.
“They are unclean. There is no way it will not appear to any reasonable person or analytical mind that there is something amiss. There are assurances that INEC will correct the anomalies in Lagos and be able to register those omitted and new eligible voters.”