INEC confirms about 7m voters so far registered in Lagos, tasks parties on credible agents

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State,  says statistics show that the state currently  has about seven million registered voters.

The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC)  in Lagos state, Mr Olusegun Agbaje disclosed this  in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday.

According to him, if the number of  new registrants so far in the ongoing  Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) is added to those in the register of voters before in the state, the number will be about seven million.

“In Lagos state as at Monday (July 18), those who registered online are 640, 560 but many of them have not completed registration. Those who have completed the  registration exercise are 451, 156.

“The total number of  registered voters in Lagos state before the commencement of the ongoing CVR is 6,570,291,  and if we add the new registrants, we have about seven million registered voters,” Agbaje said.

He, however, said the ongoing CVR had not ended and the commission was still capturing more people before deadline on July 31.

The INEC boss said there would not be any extension of the CVR because the commission had lots  of work to do  on the voters register before printing of the  Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs).

He assured that, though the commission could not capture everybody, those who presented themselves for registration would not be denied.

“Everyday, there is no one that will come here that will go out without being attended to unless we cannot finish before 7.00 p.m., because by that time, all over the country, the system will shut down to avoid misuse of the machines at night.

“Everybody cannot be captured but those who come to us will be registered,” he said.

He said  the commission had put six extra days to the registration which were Saturdays and Sundays of the last three weeks of the exercise from 9.00 a.m to 5.00 p.m. before the deadline.

Agbaje added: “Whoever comes out on these weekends, especially those who complained that their work do not allow them, will be registered.”

He said  the commission had to stop the CVR on July 31,  so as to clean up the voter register which he described as vital in the credibility of elections.

“We have to take the data to our workshop, analyse what we have, then to another workshop for printing of cards, transporting them to all the states before we ask people to come and collect.

“So, the processes are quite long and the time is not there, we have to stop the CVR,” he added.

Urging people to avoid double registration, Agbaje said that those engaged in double or multiple registration would not get PVCs.

According to him, those who engage in multiple registration affect chances of others, saying many who need to seek replacement of lost or defaced PVCs or transfer of their registration to a nearest polling units are registering newly..

He said  INEC would carry out other activities such as the display of voter register for claims and objections, robust cleaning of the register to remove all double or multiple registrants, printing of cards, distribution to states for onward collection by the people.

According to him, all the PVCs for the new registrants from January to July 31 will be ready by October, and from  October to  December, INEC will start distribution.

He said that out of about 34,000 new PVCs printed for people that registered from  June to  December 2021 in Lagos, only about 10,000 had been collected across the 20 local government areas of  the state.

“About 10,000 have collected their PVCs out of 34,000 new ones. As people are collecting the new ones,  they are also collecting the old ones,” he said.

He urged the people to visit INEC offices in each of the 20 LGAs  for  collection of their PVCs before it would be too late.

TASKS PARTIES ON CREDIBLE AGENTS

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State on Sunday, urged political parties to engage credible and trained party agents, assuring that votes would count in  the 2023 general elections.

The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Lagos state, Mr Olusegun Agbaje told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the commission was not carried away by the euphoria of success recorded in the recent Ekiti and Osun elections, but rather working hard to deliver best elections in  the state in 2023.

According to Agbaje, the same commission under the leadership of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu that conducted some of the off circle elections Nigerians are proud of, will also offer best elections in 2023.

He said: “It is important to also realise that INEC only conducts elections, INEC do not vote.

“It is the votes of the electorate that will be counted. All INEC does is to monitor the election.

“What we have seen now is better elections but we are looking for the best, and we assure Nigerians that by the Grace of God, with all the things that the commission has put in place, 2023  elections will be the best the country has ever had.

“In Lagos state, with the way we have been carrying along our political party leaders, various NGOs, CSOs and other groups in the state, even the media, we will deliver best elections.

“If every party has good party agents that will be at various polling units,  I don’t see any  reason why election results will be tampered with.”

He urged the stakeholders to always notify INEC if they observed anything capable of jeopardizing credible elections, saying the commission had vowed to give a level playing ground to all political parties and candidates in elections without interference.

“If you see things that are not proper and things that are not well done, bring our attention to it so that we can immediately do something and not wait until havoc has been done.

“All of us have roles to play including security agencies, and if all of us play our roles well the way it was played in  the Osun election recently, definitely, we should expect to have the best elections than we have ever had in the country next year,” he said.

On election security, the REC said that the commission had a very good and robust partnership arrangement with security agencies under the aegis of Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).

“We have decided that we are going to inaugurate it in Lagos state in October. By the time we start, it is going to be straight to election,” he added.

According to him, the commission is not relenting in making things difficult for anyone to manipulate the outcome of election or subvert the will of the people through the ballot.

“If you have a PVC that is not your own, you cannot vote.

“Now, if your fingerprint is not captured, we will use the same Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to check your face to ascertain ownership of the card.

“With all these measures, the commission is prepared to conduct one of the best elections ever in Nigeria in 2023,” Agbaje said.

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