“Non Nigerians Will not be Captured in Voters Register” INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is collaborating with relevant government agencies and communities to ensure that non- Nigerians were not captured in the country’s voters register.
INEC Deputy Director for Publicity and Voter Education, Mr Nick Dazang, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
The agencies, according to Nick, include the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and the National Identity Card Management Commission (NIMC).
He said that INEC has been taking precautionary measures to ensure that only eligible Nigerians were captured during its Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) or issued Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
“INEC works with the Immigration Services who are professionals; their remit is in apprehending those who are non-Nigerians claiming to be Nigeria citizens to collect our PVCs.
“Before the 2015 general elections, there were a number of non-Nigerians who even succeeded in collecting their PVCs but the immigration services were able to detect and apprehend them.
“We also collaborate with the NIMC and the government has charge us, going forward, not only to collaborate but also put our data together; and INEC has the largest data base as at now,’’ Dazang said.
The deputy director added that the commission also collaborate with the various communities where continuous voter registrations were being conducted.
Dazang said that the commission that residents of various communities had been of help in raising claims or objection on someone who has died; suspected to be under-aged or non-Nigerian.
“We also relied on the integrity of the community leaders because they are the ones who know those who are residents in their communities.
“They know their ages; they know those who are Nigerians and those who are non-Nigerians.
“We also count on their senses of judgement to identify those who are Nigerians or non-Nigerians in that way we even remove them from the voter register,’’ Dazang said.
He said that in addition to the collaborating agencies, eligible registrants were required to produce either a national identity card or international passport or any other means of identification during registration exercise.
Dazang, however, said that the commission sometimes faced certain challenges, especially where community leaders refused or compromised in identifying non-Nigerians or underage.
“Don’t forget that we also use staff, who might not be resident of that a particular community. So there are limits to which they can identify people who are from that community.
“In the absence of criteria for identification, it is only members of the community that can tell us that certain person is under age or not.
“We have had a situation where a member of a community even tell you a registrant is up to 18 years, whereas he is not.
“There is nothing INEC can do if a person regarded as respected members of the community says that a person doubt to be up to 18 years is actually of age. You have to go with it.’’
He added that INEC was also in collaboration with the National Population commission (NPC) in the delimitation of constituencies and creation of wards, among others