2019: INEC expunged names of 299 aliens from register —Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expunged the names of 299 aliens from the voter register, the Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said.

The INEC, Yakubu said further, would do a thorough clean-up of the register before the 2019 general elections.

He explained that the move is to ensure that ineligible voters are barred from participating in elections.

Yakubu spoke yesterday at the regular consultative meeting with security agencies under the auspices of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).

He said the commission will continue to work with the security agencies to ensure that the register is purged of ineligible voters.

Besides, he revealed that the commission had secured a commitment from the Nigeria Immigration Service to deploy personnel in registration centres across the country.

He said: “I am happy to report that the commission has been able to remove from the voter register the names of 299 aliens who registered as Nigerians. This was done on the basis of information received from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS). Registering to vote and actual voting in an election are the exclusive rights of Nigerian citizens to which aliens are excluded by law.

“ We have agreed with the NIS that they will deploy their personnel in registration centres nationwide to ensure that only Nigerians will vote in our elections.

“We shall continue to work in partnership to ensure that our voter register is purged of ineligible registrants as enshrined in the electoral Act.”

This INEC boss assured Nigerians that before “we finalize the voter register for 2019 general elections, the commission will undertake a thorough clean-up of the existing register.  Under section 12(1) of the Electoral Act, those who are below the statute or regulations from registration as voters and persons who do not ordinarily reside, work or originate from the area covered by registration are ineligible. We will continue to thoroughly scrutinize all prospective registrants in the ongoing exercise in order to ensure that only eligible registrants are registered.”

Yakubu, who admitted that there were some lapses in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration, pleaded for the understanding of all, saying “we have been responding within the limits of available resources.”

He assured all those who were yet to register that they would not be left out.

Also, for those who registered in 2017 and are yet to collect their permanent voter cards, Yakubu said it would be ready for collection by the first week of May,2018, while those who registered in 2018 will have their voter cards before the general elections.

On the forthcoming Ekiti and Osun governorship elections in July and September respectively, Yakubu said the commission is ready to go.

“We are ready in the active period of preparations for the elections,” he said.