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Nigerian Parties to Receive Voters List Ahead of April Elections

  • Peter Clottey

A resident checks for his name on a voters' registration list in Lagos, Nigeria, February 18, 2011

A resident checks for his name on a voters' registration list in Lagos, Nigeria, February 18, 2011

An official of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says his organization will distribute the certified voters list to all participating political parties Wednesday ahead of April’s presidential, parliamentary and state governorship elections.

Nick Dazan, INEC assistant director of public affairs, says the electoral body “cleaned up” the voters register after it displayed the initial list that allowed prospective Nigerian voters to inspect and make corrections in the run up to the general elections.

“Immediately after the voters registration exercise, the commission embarked on a display. And, simultaneously, it also cleaned up the register of persons who did double registration and persons who are underage. By today, the commission is going to hand over the certified, or cleaned copy, of the register to the political parties,” said Dazan.

He also said the electoral body is satisfied with the credibility of the voters list it recently compiled.

“The commission projected that, based on the country’s population of 150 million, it was going to register 70 million eligible Nigerians. Now, in the course of the exercise, it was able to register about 68 million Nigerians. Making allowances for those who were not able to register, and about one percent that indulged in multiple registrations,” said Dazan.

“The figure that the commission got at the end of the day comes very close to, or agrees with, earlier projections of 70 million. It is so crystal clear that the voter register that we have (completed) now is very credible.”

Dazan also says the participating political parties need the final voters list to ensure what he described as transparency in the upcoming general elections.

“They also need it to plan their campaign. And, at the end of the day, when the elections take place, the results will be put against the total number of eligible Nigerians that we have collected in our database,” said Dazan.

Dazan says the final voter registration list will ensure free, fair and transparent general elections.

Meanwhile, the electoral body has dismissed speculation that it will not use an electronic version of the voters list.

In a press release, the INEC said it will use “the voter register electronically compiled through the recent voter registration exercise for the April elections. This is to correct the widespread misconception that the commission was discarding the voter register given that it will not be using Direct Data Capture (DDC) machines for accreditation in the April elections.”

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