Nigerians took to twitter on Monday to express displeasure over irregularities found in the voter register released online by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Social media users pointed out that there were many cases of multiple registrations and the registration of under-aged looking voters. For instance, a male voter, Lawal Raufu A, with date of birth, 1949, appeared three times with three different Voter Identification Number (90F5B1ABBD295362247, 90F5B1ABBD295441709, 90FB1ABBD2953619011).
The name of a female voter, Bulu Zaria appeared twice with two different VIN (90F5B16A2C295875620, 90F5B16A2C296558630), while another female voter, Florence O appeared twice with two different VIN (90F5B1CA9E295878082, 90F5B1CA9E295878671). Abubakar Aisha, a female, born in 1994 appeared thrice with three different VIN (90F5AF7B9842115037B, 90F5AF7B98421150926, 90F5AF7B98421151991) and Abdulhamid Mamman appeared twice with two different VIN (90F5B065A6526477205, 90F5B065A6526477716). In Kano, a voter Anah Ifeanyi appeared twice also with two VIN numbers
There were also pictures of underaged-looking voters like Abdu James with VIN 90F5AFBF29295522308, Amos Joshua with VIN 90F5AE62DC26319140, Albert Emma, 90F5AF2C50296907996, Darama Yusuf, woith VIN 90F5AF3EB1295961014, Darama Emmaunel, with VIN 90F5AF3EB1295800555, Abdulahi Hamsatu, with VIN, 90F5AF3EB1295950946, Ali Sunday with VIN 90F5AF3EB1296752379.
Nigerians condemned the irregularities, accusing the Commission of bias after it was revealed that the South East and the South South had the highest number of invalid registration.
But in a statement by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, INEC said: “During the display, any person may make a claim that the name of a registered voter has been omitted, make corrections on his or her personal details on the register, raise an objection against the inclusion of any persons not qualified to vote or in the name of a dead person on the register.
“Nigerians should seize the opportunity to scrutinise the register and draw the Commission’s attention to any corrections in their personal particulars and any malicious registrations, multiple registrations, non-Nigerians or any persons not qualified to be on the register. By the provisions of the law, cleaning up of the voters’ register is a collective national responsibility. So far, the commission has weeded out ineligible registrants using the automated biometric identification system. By working together with the citizens, we can clean the register further as it is the critical foundation for credible elections.”
In spite of the clarification, a twitter user, Chudemedia said: “Voters registration portal need to be audited, we cannot go into an election with a large number of underage registered voters in Northern Nigeria. It is very unfair! This is the time for every well-meaning Nigeria call out this partiality while Sheni Kabiru wrote: “Dear INEC, here is an anomaly in your voters register, numbers 104-106 have three pictures (same pic for that matter) and three different VIN numbers, same name and year of birth. If such occurrences are littered in other PUs, then we really have a long way to go.”
A twitter user, Chuma said: I and my cousins registered for PVC since May, till today when we enter our names in the verification portal they say our information not found, yet we have the slip they gave us the registration centre though faded. Aren’t we being disenfranchised like this.”
Mark Essien wrote: “The Nigerian Voters register is clearly invalid. INEC needs to clean it up. There should be a public portal showing all disputed voters and INEC should publicly publish what happens to each of them (accepted, rejected). The public If INEC does not clean up the register, everyone will believe the election was rigged. And that would justify things like election violence. For a fragile country, this is an existential risk to take contribute to find invalid.”
Alonika: Appears INEC did not clean the register in the North like they did thoroughly in the South East and South South. They cleaned out the Southern register with Hypo, Jik, Harpic plus Ariel and swept the northern register with old broomstick and one litre of water, while Shehu Sadiq said: “Look at the work of INEC in my Northern Nigeria. This is shameful and unacceptable. INNEC should invalidate all the underage registered voters now!
Another user, William said: “How do you convince someone to believe in fair and inclusive Nigeria after the shit INEC just pulled? How? Thirty five percent of newly registered voters in the South – South were made “invalid”, but child voters are were not detected elsewhere?, while Baron said: “I have always been skeptical about INEC chairman and quite frankly the Commission has presented herself as an Independent umpire. The Nigerian people want a free and fair election but INEC has taken deliberate steps to frustrate the desire of the people.”
However, INEC had in an earlier statement said that Nigerians who have objections to the voter register should approach the commission with their complaints. – The Sun.