Registered voters now over 80m
By Clare Nwaiwu
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured that delays in the passage of its budget will not result in the postponement of the 2019 general elections
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, gave the assurance while fielding questions from State House correspondents in Abuja, Friday.
Yakubu pointed out that there was no provision under the law for postponement of elections.
“I have said this over and over again; there are no conditions under which elections should be postponed, under section 26 of the Electoral Act.
[penci_blockquote style=”style-2″ align=”none” author=””] “As at Saturday last week- Aug. 11- we have registered 12.1 million citizens; this will eventually be added to the 70 million voters that are already registered for the 2019 general elections. “We have voters register of over 80 million citizens.[/penci_blockquote]
“The date is formed and fixed, February 16, 2019; we issued the timetable way in advance; for the very first time in the history of our nation, citizens of Nigeria know when elections will take place one year in advance. It has never happened before.
“Secondly, for the very first time in the history of our country, citizens know the budget of the electoral commission; citizens know line by line how much the commission proposed; what the money is going to be spent on. I think I am very happy with this process,”
The INEC boss spoke on the ongoing registration exercise, saying that it is in response to the appeal by Nigerians and provided by the constitution.
He disclosed that the commission created more centres for the registration but finally decided that it should suspend the process as provided for by the law, six months to the elections.
“As at Saturday last week- Aug. 11- we have registered 12.1 million citizens; this will eventually be added to the 70 million voters that are already registered for the 2019 general elections.
“We have voters register of over 80 million citizens.
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“Let me make this very important clarification; the registration is going to take place between 9am in the morning and 5pm daily including weekends but excluding the public holiday. You know Tuesday and Wednesday next week have been declared public holiday.
“The second important clarification that I should make is that the end of the continuous voters’ registration is Aug. 31 but that does not mean the end of the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
“Collection of PVCs will continue until at least one week to the general election in February 2019,’’ he said.