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Nigeria Electoral Commission to Display Voter List This Week

A Nigerian security man sits under a campaign poster of Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan, with US President Barrack Obama, in Abuja, Nigeria, January 12, 2011

An official of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said his organization will Monday begin a week-long nationwide voter list display that will allow Nigerians to inspect and possibly make corrections to the list.

The voters’ list is expected to be used for the upcoming April presidential, parliamentary and state governorship elections.

Nick Dazan, assistant director of public affairs of the INEC, told VOA the electoral body expects Nigerians to “re-confirm” the information they gave to the electoral commission during the recent voter registration process.

“Today, we are going to display the voters’ register across the country from Monday to Friday, and we expect that all those registered will now go and reconfirm that their names, addresses and photographs were properly captured during the voter registration exercise, and that they will also use the opportunity of the exercise to complain if they notice that there are individuals who are underage and were registered, and if there were people whose names are in the role (voters list) that are supposed to be dead or who by law are not supposed to be registered,” Dazan said.

“If they observe that their names are in that register, they are supposed to object to our officers who will man the 120,000 registration centers where the voters registration exercise took place just last week.”

Dazan said the purpose of the voters’ list display is to provide a credible list that will ensure free, fair and transparent general elections. He also said the commission will have what he described as much-needed time to correct the voters’ list in the run up to the April elections.

“Yes, it will be enough because, in the past, the commission didn’t even used to give that period. But, this time around, under the watch of Professor Attahiru Jega, the commission is now giving one complete week for that exercise,” said Dazan.

“We are inviting Nigerians to take advantage of it (one week) to confirm that all their biometrics, their photographs, their addresses are properly captured in the register. And, those who were not able to collect their temporary voter’s card during the voter registration exercise (will) use the opportunity to collect the temporary card.”

Meanwhile, Nigerian authorities say they are investigating what caused a deadly stampede at a campaign rally for President Goodluck Jonathan Saturday in the southern Niger Delta region.

Mr. Jonathan has cancelled several rallies in the wake of the incident in which 11 people were killed and dozens more injured.

Thousands of people had crowded into a stadium in Port Harcourt to hear the president speak. Witnesses say the stampede occurred after police fired into the air apparently to control a rush of people leaving the rally.

The president's spokesman says Mr. Jonathan received news of the stampede with shock and sadness and has ordered a “full-scale investigation.”