Lawmakers Seek Physical Enumerators for Voter Registration

The House of Representatives has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to urgently deploy physical enumerators for conducting voters registration across all federal constituencies.

INEC had put in place machinery for a virtual continuous voters registration. However, the lawmakers during yesterday’s plenary did not seem satisfied with the online process.

They expressed worry that the online registration process may not cover all constituencies, which will lead to the disenfranchisement of Nigerians and voter apathy.

The Green chamber also called on the electoral umpire to situate voting points in safe areas. This followed a motion by Rep. Abubakar Yalleman (Madori/Kaugama constituency,  Jigawa).

Yalleman had expressed concern over voters’ apathy and challenges trailing exercise being conducted electronically.

He said his Constituency and many other Federal constituencies had been disadvantaged due to the non-availability of registration centers and officials.

“The House notes that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was established to, among other things, organize elections in Nigeria as well as put all necessary processes in place for the successful conduct of elections in Nigeria.

“The House also notes that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in carrying out one of its constitutional duties, has put in place the machinery for the virtual Continuous Voters Registration (CVR), which has been ongoing.

“The House is concerned that Mallam Madori/Kaugama Federal Constituency and many other Federal Constituencies have been placed at disadvantage position due to non-availability of Registration centers and officials, inadequate power supply, insufficient operational tools, and equipment as well as inadequate enlightenment program, the effect of which are low figure recorded within the constituencies.

“The House is worried that if the voter’s registration exercise is concluded without addressing the challenges as mentioned above, thousands of potential voters in Nigeria will be disenfranchised during the forthcoming elections.

“The House is concerned that given current realities in the Constituency, INEC may need to engage in both physical and virtual processes by introducing physical enumerators to make up for the lapses in the online registration exercise,” he noted.

Also speaking, Hon. Yusuf Gagdi( Pankshin/Kanam/kanke Constituency, plateau), who supported the motion, said lawmakers who represent the rural constituencies would better understand the importance and value of the motion.

According to him,  “In my constituency, not up to 10 percent have access to network, social media and telephone, and these are what INEC is using to register voters.”

Meanwhile, the House has, in a motion, called on the Federal Government to provide body cameras for all security operatives on duty across the country.

This, it says, will help in addressing allegations of harassment, extortion, and extra-judicial killings of citizens by security operatives, as well as protect them.

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