A coalition of 10 Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, working in support of credible and transparent elections in the country, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to urgently clean up the voters’ register in Plateau State.
The group, in a statement it issued in Abuja on Wednesday, said it uncovered over 84, 000 underaged registered voters across the 17 Local Government Areas, LGAs, in the state.
It noted that INEC had on in line with section 19 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2022, published the voters’ register in the LGAs and political Wards for public scrutiny at every registration area across Nigeria.
“It is against this background that our team of INEC registered CSOs and Consultative Partners, set out to Plateau State which is made up of 17 LGAs on November 23, 2022, to see, observe and discover for ourselves the state of affairs and level of preparation of INEC to deliver a credible election in 2023.
“The outcome of the exercise revealed the presence of over 84, 000 underaged voters in the published register.
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“We discovered that the voters’ register is replete with massive underaged persons, including persons that are below five years old.
“We also found out that multiple registrations about and the cases of Wase, Kanam, Kanke, Jos North and Sharabutu in Riyom LGA are worrisome.
“Our claims and objections, pursuant to sections 19 (2), (3) & (4) of the Electoral Act 2022, including printed evidence were submitted to the Electoral Officers, EOs, in the affected LGAs for onward transmission to the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, for action in consonance with section 19 (4) of the Electoral Act.
“We call on INEC to clean up the voters’ register in Plateau and in Nigeria as a whole”, the coalition stated in its statement that was signed by the head of Intercontinental Leadership Institute, Prince Stafford Bisong.”
Engage in electronic transmission of results”.
“In order to gain the confidence of the electorate, INEC should look into the composition, integrity and credibility of their ICT personnel in the department as this is necessary in a technology driven election, moving forward.
“We use this opportunity to appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for demonstrating his commitment to leaving behind a legacy of credible elections in Nigeria by signing into law the
2022 Electoral Act which is truly bringing sanity to our electioneering process”, the coalition added.