News / Africa

Delays in Nigerian Voter Registration Spark Calls to Extend Deadline

A police officer provides security as Electoral Officials check voter registration material and election equipment at a distribution center in Lagos, Nigeria, 15 Jan, 2011
A police officer provides security as Electoral Officials check voter registration material and election equipment at a distribution center in Lagos, Nigeria, 15 Jan, 2011

Multimedia

Audio

Frustration is growing over delays in Nigeria's voter registration and some governors are calling on the electoral commission to extend the deadline.

The biggest problem so far is with the electoral commission's Direct Data Capture machines, which are meant to integrate laptops, cameras, fingerprint scanners, and printers to produce voter cards on site.

Some electoral workers said the machines they were trained on are not the machines they are using now. The electoral commission said some laptops do not have sufficiently upgraded software, and technicians are now making those corrections in the field.

National Electoral Commission Chairman Attahiru Jega said the scale and complexity of registering more than 70 million eligible voters is like nothing Nigeria has ever seen. But he is confident the process is improving.

"We are working in 120,000 polling units nationwide," said Jega. "We have to deploy men and materials to these places, and we have to ensure that the processes commences on time. Naturally there have been tremendous challenges in many places, as many of you are aware - men and materials do not actually arrive on time."

Philomena Okpukoko waited two hours at her registration center before officials told her to write her name on a list and come back the next day. When she did, the scanner was not working.

"It is not encouraging because it is wasting our time," said Okpukoko. "Many people stopped their work to come and register, but when they reach here, the chance is not there for them to register."

Asemo Solomon said he has come every day since the registration began Saturday, and he is still waiting. "They can register three people in a day. It is a problem. Three people for a day is a problem. How do you think they can register millions of people in only 14 days?

"There must be an extension, otherwise they will never register anything. There must be extension. Without that, even half of Delta can not be registered. Even half of Nigeria can not be registered."

Rivers State governor Chibuike Amaechi agrees that the Independent National Electoral Commission - or INEC - must agree to extend the registration deadline.

"We must have an extension of time because the process is rigorous and it is time consuming," Amaechi. "And patience is key: patience on the side of INEC and patience on the side of the voters."

But INEC chairman Jega said it is premature to discuss extending the registration deadline. "I want to ask Nigerians to be patient with us, because once things have not been deployed to some polling units, some people have already concluded that the exercise has failed."

It is not just technical problems that are confronting the registration. Some Muslim leaders are threatening to take Jega's commission to court because women are being forced to unveil their faces for voter card photographs.  

Nigeria's Muslim Rights Concern said that violates women's freedom of religion, as it says women who agree to uncover their faces are registered, but those who refuse to remove their hijab are turned away.


You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs