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Group urges INEC to extend voters registration

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Group urges INEC to extend voters registration

By Halima ABDULKADIRI

The International Republican Institute (IRI) in collaboration with National Democratic Institute (NDI) have urged Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the period of voter registration.

The Secretary of State for Ohio, Frank LaRose stated this while speaking on behalf of the organisations during their briefing on election observation on Friday in Abuja.

Capitalizing on the excitement from the Osun and Ekiti elections, LaRose commended Nigeria for the peaceful conduct of presidential primaries elections of the various political parties and the nomination of the Vice-Presidential candidates.

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He called on federal government to release the remaining allocated funds to INEC to enable them complete the procurement processes, training and development of necessary staff and materials.

The Secretary of the State for Ohio urged INEC and the security agencies to ensure that the new electoral law be enforced and punish anyone flouting the law, especially those involved in vote buying and selling.

“Political parties should hold candidates and party members accountable for participating in buying votes or inducement.”

According to him, the 2022 Electoral Act passed in May enjoys wide stakeholders’ support and has elevated public confidence in INEC’s commitment to delivering a democratic election in 2023.

He commended the early conduct of parties’ primaries elections, adding that INEC was better positioned than in past elections to take on the logistical and administrative arrangements necessary to organise elections for 85 million registered voters (about twice the population of California).

He said that the 2022 Ekiti and Osun gubernatorial elections, the first elections held since the election law was passed, was a demonstration of the positive impact of initiatives implemented by INEC since 2019 to improve result transparency.

According to him, the introduction of the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) and elimination of voting points, the adaption and proper configuration of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for voter’s accreditation has quickened the voting process and reduced tension in pulling units.

He stated that the 2022 Electoral Act mandates INEC to maintain a database of publicity of election results to comply with the measure and enhance the transparency of election results.

LaRose added that actions of electoral stakeholders to prepare for the 2023 polls between the new and the end of 2022 was critical to inspiring confidence in the ability of Nigerians to elect the candidate of their choice without barriers or hesitations.

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