2023: Coalition Group urges INEC to expand voter registration

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The Coalition for Peter Obi has written the Independent National Electoral Commission, urging for expansion of it’s voter registration and validation infrastructure to serve the teeming numbers of Nigerians willing to register.

The group, composed of independent professionals and intellectuals, made the call in a letter dated June 16, which its Chairman, Marcel Ngogbehei, signed.

They observed that no matter the number of years of extension of the voters’ registration and validation, if the infrastructure is not expanded, it will be a total waste of the nation’s time and resources.

In the letter circulated to journalists on Monday, Ngogbehei said it makes more sense to employ 50,000 workers for three months with massive numbers of voter registration machines than to employ 5,000 workers for one year with a few machines.

The letter partly read, “The Coalition for Peter Obi, a self-funded group of independent professionals and intellectuals, call on the Independent National Electoral Commission to expand its infrastructure immediately for conducting voter registration and verification exercise across the country, particularly redeploy same to areas of high demand.

“From statistical analysis, we estimated the Nigerian population at 216 million as of June 2022 according to data from the World Bank, with a median age of 18.1 years. That means half of the population of Nigeria, or 108 million are above 18 years and eligible to vote.

“INEC’s current voters’ register estimates Nigeria’s voting population at 84 million.

“So INEC is expected to capture at least 20 million additional Nigerian voters in this exercise.

“However, the electoral body has completed barely four million applications as of March 2022 to information available on its website.

“This means that a whopping 16 million Nigerians are likely to be disenfranchised. This is not good for our democracy.

“This call has become necessary to ensure that 16 million Nigerian citizens are not disenfranchised in the forthcoming general elections.”

 

Punch/S.O

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