As preparations for the 2023 general election intensify, the independence national electoral commission is compiling a list of registered eligible voters.
In the ongoing process, INEC says it has delisted 1.1 million newly registered voters from its database days ahead of the 2023 general election
INEC’s national commissioner and chairman of information and voter education committee, Festus Okoye spoke during the cleaning up of the register vote as using the automated biometric identification system where he says, the commission detected several double, multiple and ineligible
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Mr Okoye said out of the 2.5 million fresh registrations which were done between June the 28th last year and January the 14th of this year, 1.1 million records were found to be invalid and consequently delisted. He also noted that INEC will display the voter register once the process of verification is concluded, adding that permanent voter cards for all valid registrants are expected to be available for collection by the end of October or early November this
Mr Okoye stated on TVC Breakfast on Thursday that those delisted from INEC’s data base where people who re-registered because they either lost their PVCs, relocated to other places or had damaged PVCs not knowing their names were already captured in INEC’s data base.
He noted that a different model was created to print new PVCs for those who had either lost or damaged their PVCs to avoid new registrations as their names already existed.
For those who want to transfer their PVCs because they are in a different location, the National Commissioner said it can be done through the commissions’ online portal which was launched in June 28th, 2021.
The data we released of of 44.6 percent of multiple and double registrants was for that particular period.
The registrants involved were those that registered between June 28, 2021 and January 14, 2022.
Mr. Okoye claimed that despite aggressive voter and civic education being carried out to train registration officers at the point of registration to inform individuals coming forward for physical registration, which was flagged off on the 26th day of July and 2021, of the options available to them, people continued to go to the registration centers and claim they were registering for the first time despite the fact that some of them had PVCs but had lost them.
“This was one of the difficulties that led to our having numerous and double registration.
“People who have lost their PVCs or had them defaced come and claim they don’t have, however the INEC voter enrollment device used for voter registration includes many pathways and modules.
“Unfortunately, some people were unaware that we have an automated biometric identification system that detects both fingerprints and facial recognition from multiple registrants.”
Mr Okoye stated that insincerity on the part of Nigerians also made the process impossible to be seamless.
He stated that the implication for those who had multiple registrations is that while registration is still valid, one can vote in the place where they registered rather than the place where they wanted to transfer to, and thus for those ones, votes in the places where the original is registered can be seen.
“Second, if your PVC is damaged, but you still have it and your name is visible, you can still vote in the 2023 general election because each registered voter’s data is stored in the beavers and not necessarily in the permanent voters card. However, if your PVC is completely lost and you re-register, the implication is that you will not vote in the 2023 election”.
In addition, the Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee stated that the commission was nearly finished with the abyss and adjudication on the registration process, which began on the 15th of January and will end on the 31st of July, 2022, adding that the total value of registrations and invalid registrations will be unveiled by the Independent National Electoral Commission Chairman, professor Mahmoud Yakubu.
He said that the INEC chairman will inform Nigerians of our progress on the cleaning up effort and genuine registrations in the upcoming weeks.
Responding to the issue of the commission’s result portal being hacked months after the elections in Osun, Ekiti, Mr Okoye stated that the INEC does not transmit raw data but rather results from each polling unit.
Every system portal is vulnerable to hacking, he said, but the type of defenses put in place to safeguard the system and other technological apparatus is what matters most.
He stated that the commissions’ defences are robust as it will continue to upgrade to protect all technological devices from malicious attempts.
Speaking further on the issue of delisting multiple registrations from INEC’s portal, Mr. Okoye said that contrary to the perception of some people, who hold that the commission’s systems are not reliable and do not have the capacity and facilities to detect multiple and double registrants, it was a demonstration of transparency and a credit to INEC.
“The nation should applaud the Independent National Electoral Commission for the level of transparency it has demonstrated in terms of continuous voter registration and also for its ability to detect multiple and double registrants.”