Only 2,525,471 voters eligible for Anambra election -  INEC

4 months ago | 219

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission

 By Anthony Isibor.


 PROF. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said that the total number of registered voters in Anambra State stands at 2,525,471.

He made this known during an emergency meeting of political parties and the commission, held at the INEC conference room, Abuja, on Friday, October 8, 2021.

The statement by INEC on Friday said that the emergency meeting became necessary in order for the commission to intimate political parties on its continued preparations for the Anambra state election and to discuss recent developments in the State beginning with the registration of voters and compilation of the voters’ register.

This figure is a combination of the 2,447,996 existing register of eligible voters used for the 2019 General Elections and the 77,475 valid registrants in Anambra State at the end of the first quarter of the Continuous Voters Registration, CVR, exercise on 5th September 2021.

A total of 138,802 citizens completed the CVR exercise registration, including applications for transfer and requests for replacement of lost, damaged or defaced PVCs as required by law, the Commission found out that some 62,698 persons, who are already registered voters in Anambra State went ahead to register again, according to INEC Chairman.

“These double or multiple registrations are invalid by law. We have archived these registrations and will not print new PVCs for them. Their old PVCs remain valid and they can use them to vote at the Polling Units where they registered and probably voted in previously elections. The same cleaning up exercise is going on nationwide. As soon as it is over, the Commission will provide further details to Nigerians on the situation in other States.

“Consequently, the number of valid registrants in Anambra State at the end of the first quarter of the CVR exercise on 5th September 2021 is 77,475. This figure has been added to the existing register of 2,447,996 eligible voters used for the 2019 General Election. Accordingly, the number of registered voters in Anambra State now stands at 2,525,471. We shall provide a detailed breakdown of the figure for public information in the days ahead,” he said.

“We are presently working on the printing of the PVCs. We shall use various channels, including e-mails and text messages, to contact the new voters to collect their PVCs before the election.

 “Turning to voter accreditation, I wish to assure you that the Commission is committed to deploying the BVAS for electronic fingerprint and facial accreditation of voters. The pilot deployment of the system in the Isoko South 1 State Constituency bye-election in Delta State held last month was very encouraging.

“For example, successful full biometric accreditation was 32.8% in the constituency during the 2019 General Election. However, using the BVAS in the same constituency during the recent bye-election, successful accreditation sharply rose to 97.4%.

“The Commission will continue to deploy appropriate technology to improve our electoral process. Let me once again reiterate the position of the Commission that going forward, nobody will be allowed to vote in any election without successful biometric accreditation, he added.

He also noted that although security remains one of the biggest challenges facing the commission, the electoral body is ready for the Anambra State election as it has fully recovered from previous attacks.

“You would recall that in May this year, our State office in Awka was attacked and the main building, collation centre and store were either completely or partially damaged.

“Also damaged in the attacks were 60% of non-sensitive materials for the election, including 326 generating sets and several Hilux vehicles, which we had assembled at Awka.

“I am glad to report that we have fully recovered from that attack. The buildings have been completely reconstructed and renovated in readiness for the election. All the non-sensitive materials have either been procured afresh or sourced from neighbouring States and our zonal stores. We are working assiduously with security agencies to ensure that such an attack does not happen again.

“However, security remains a major challenge to our preparations. For the political parties, these heinous attacks have truncated campaigns, making voter mobilization and sensitization impossible. Consequently, Anambra State is not in the usual election mood.

“It is in the light of the security situation in the state that the Commission held an emergency meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) last Tuesday.

“The meeting was frank and productive. We are assured of the determination of the security agencies to protect voters, election staff, election observers, the media, transport providers and candidates during the election. Already, security around INEC facilities in the State has been ramped up. We are also confident that the heightened deployment of security officials, which is expected in the coming weeks, will further give citizens the confidence to turn up and vote on Election Day. We shall continue to work with the security agencies to ensure that the election is successful and violence-free,” he said. 

Yakubu also appealed to all political parties and candidates not to exacerbate the feeling of insecurity in Anambra State through unguarded utterances and actions as it could compound the security situation and make the work of the Commission, political parties and security agencies even more difficult.

“This moment calls for statesmanship and maturity, hence the decision to convene this emergency meeting. We are confident that the outcome of this engagement will be productive and helpful to the Commission and political parties as we continue to prepare for the Anambra Governorship holding on Saturday 6th November 2021,” he added.

- OCT. 08, 2021 @ 15:23 GMT |

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