The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will on Tuesday publish the voters register – one month to the election - in line with the Electoral Act.
Mr. Kayode Idowu, INEC Chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega’s spokesman, said yesterday that the register will be on display to allow for public scrutiny for claims and objections.
The publication of the register will end the anxiety over the list. Those who have not registered will no longer be able to do so before the elections.
Idowu said those who registered during the continous Voter Registration (CVR) and those whose names are on the register but yet to pick up their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), will still be free to have the cards until the end of the month.
The elections are slated for February 14 and 28.
The list will be published in line with Section 19(i) of the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended.
Section 9(5) of the Act also forbids INEC from registering any person not later than 30 days before any election. Section 19(5) directs the commission to publish names of those expected to participate in the April 14th and 15th general elections forthwith.
The section reads: “Subject to the provisions of section 9(5) of this Act, the Commission shall, by notice, appoint a period of not less than five days and not exceeding 14 days, during which a copy of the voters’ register for each local government, Area Councillor ward shall be displayed for public scrutiny and during which period any objection or complaint in relation to names omitted or included in the voters’ register or relation to any necessary correction, shall be raised or filed.”
Section 9(5) states: “The registration of voters, updating and revision of the register of voters under the section shall stop not later than 30days before any election covered by this Act”
INEC is contemplating carving out constituencies for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) among other possible options, to ensure their participation in the elections.
The committee set up to look into various possibilities has submitted a report after working for two weeks.
IDP camps have been created in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states, which have been under attack of insurgents.
Idowu said: “One option is to designate a safe haven as a constituency, because the law prescribes constituency and residency voting. You can designate a safe area as a safe haven and invite everybody to come to that constituency from wherever they dwell within or outside the country to come over and cast their votes.
“If you have possibility of IDP camps being homogenous in terms of where people migrated from, you can move the polling units and get them to vote. So there are many options that the security can work with but essential it will still need security cover to do these things.”
Jega has been invited by the House of Representatives to explain the plan for the elections.
The lawmakers are concerned about the chances of the country’s 3.3 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) voting in the elections.
The meeting has been fixed for January 20.
The Chairman, House Committee on Electoral Matters, Jerry Manwe, the INEC boss and his team are expected to elaborate on INEC’s level of preparedness.
Funding, security and franchise of IDPs as well as other sundry matters will be discussed.