Africa Nigeria electoral body denies disenfranchising voters‏

Nigeria electoral body denies disenfranchising voters‏

 Independent National Electoral Commission
Independent National Electoral Commission

 (AA) – Nigeria’s electoral body has denied accusations of plotting to disenfranchise voters by delisting names from the voter’s register.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission is strongly committed to ensuring that every properly registered voter gets his/her permanent voter card (PVC) for the 2015 general election,” Kayode Idowu, a spokesman for the commission’s chairman, said in a statement on Sunday.

The opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the electoral body of acting out a script by the ruling Democratic People’s Party (PDP) following discovery that the names of at least 1.4 million of the 6.1 million registered voters in Lagos, the opposition’s largest voting district, are missing from the PVC list.

As the electoral body launched the distribution of the permanent voter cards in at least 10 states, there have been instances of voters not finding their names and officials not showing up at the point of collection – raising allegation of foul play.

“Contrary to allegations in some quarters, no duly registered person has been delisted from the register of voters, neither will any be denied his/her permanent voter cards,” said Idowu.

The commission acknowledged challenges in distributing the cards in some areas and said efforts are being made to rectify the problem, including adding more days within which voters can withdraw their cards.

It said registrants whose data were lost or those with incomplete data would be allowed to register again as continued voters registration begins in Lagos and some other states on November 12.

“The register of voters is the most important bedrock of the credibility of any election,” said Idowu.

“It is therefore not in the best interest of the political process or indeed the enlightened self-interest of the political elite to needlessly impugn the integrity of the register,” he added.

Nigeria is having another general election in February 2015.

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