The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has removed the names of at least 300,000 people from the voter register in preparation for the 2019 general elections.
This was disclosed by the commission’s chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, while addressing a delegation of ECOWAS Pre-Election Fact Finding Mission in Abuja on Monday, November 5, 2018.
He revealed that the names were removed after Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) was carried out on the biometric data of registered voters in a bid to clean up the register.
He said, “For the registered voters, we have been cleaning up on our own, using the AFIS. As at last week, before I travelled, I was told that over 300,000 names were dropped via the automatic fingerprints identification system.
“But the cleaning of the voter register is not the sole responsibility of the commission; it is also the responsibility of every Nigerian.”
Prof. Yakubu had revealed in September after the end of the continuous voter’s registration exercise that a total of 84,271,832 Nigerians were registered to cast their votes in the upcoming 2019 general elections.
However, he also noted that the figure was likely to drop after the commission runs the register through AFIS. While speaking on Monday, he urged Nigerians to help the commission clean up the register as it will be displayed across polling units nationwide between November 6 and November 12.
The display of the register is to enable voters personally scrutinise and report any irregularities observed. The names to be removed from the register are those belonging to underage registrants, dead electorate, non-Nigerians and other ineligible registrants.
Yakubu assured the ECOWAS group, led by the chairman of Sierra Leone’s National Electoral Commission, Mohamed Conte, that the commission is well prepared for next year’s polls.
INEC will conduct Nigeria’s presidential and national assembly elections on February 16, 2019. Governorship and State House of Assembly elections will be held on March 2, 2019.
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