By Chioma Ugboma
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the commission will sustain clean up of the voters’ register to curtail underaged, ineligible voting.
Yakubu disclosed this at 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.
On possibility of conducting elections in violence prone areas, Yakubu said INEC was working with security agencies on that.
“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, however, assured that the commission was working to ensure that all registered voters participated in the elections.
“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.”
Yakubu said the commission was really worried by electoral violence, targeted attacks on its facilities destruction of its offices, materials, pointing out that it was not a good omen for the 2023 elections.
While urging the National Assembly to ensure the proposed Electoral Offences Commission and Tribunal came into being, Yakubu said it was important to ensure that electoral offenders were effectively punished.
He pleaded with journalists to assist in countering misinformation, disinformation and fake news.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that INEC National Commissioners and Directors were present at the event. (NAN)