Nzuko Umunna, a think tank of Igbo Professionals, has taken the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to task, stating that the tardiness of the electoral umpire in the management of the voter registration exercise has dis-enfranchised millions of
Nigerian voters, in clear violation of the Electoral Act.
The group, in a statement at the weekend, signed by its President, Professor. Chika Moore and Chairman NU Adhoc Committee on Voter Registration/Electoral Participation, Hon. Emmanuel Mok, condemned the short period of additional few days given by INEC, saying it was not in keeping with the letter and spirit of Section 9(6) of the Electoral Act 2022 which provides that:
“The registration of voters, updating and revision of the Register of Voters under this section shall stop not later than 90 days before any election covered by this Act.”Consequently, Nzuko Umunna, urged INEC to extend the closing date for voter registration to 30th September 2022 as it is still within the ambit of the law.They posited that the ‘’fundamental action that INEC needs to take include to communicate clearly the extension period for registration, release all or most of the biometric capture machines to all the local government areas (LGAs) in Nigeria paying special attention to major cities and towns of Nigeria and the whole of South East region of Nigeria.”
The group further stated: “The 209 units of machines INEC released across the country are a drop in the ocean of needs. If these machines are deployed to only Lagos State for example, the 20 LGAs in the state will receive just 10 units per LGA.
It is pertinent to note that each of these LGAs has populations in excess of one million people.”
Thus Nzuko Umunna called on the leadership of INEC to employ clear cut strategies to achieve success, which include improvement of the electoral body’s processes in terms of urgent deployment of adequate human and material resources for continuous voter registration and especially for the collection of PVCs; support campaign for non-discriminatory processes in terms
of providing services to voters across the federation; continued voter sensitization and encouragement towards registration and collection of PVCs.