The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released a pruned list of total registrations recorded during the recently concluded Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), with Bayelsa and Ebonyi having the highest figure of invalid registrants.
The CVR held from June 28 to July 31 to enable previously unregistered eligible persons to register for Permanent Voter Cards to be able to vote in the 2023 General Election.
A breakdown of the CVR showed that while Bayelsa recorded a total of 444,652 completed registrations, only 137,139 were valid while 307,513 were invalid, representing 69.2% of invalid registrations.
Ebonyi trailed Bayelsa as the state with the highest number of invalid registration with 240,063 (59.8%) invalid registrations. The state recorded a total of 401,510 completed entries during the CVR.
The INEC records further showed that while 12,298,944 Nigerians successfully completed CVR, 2,780,756 (22.6%) represented invalid registrations.
TheWhistler reports that this leaves the commission with 9,518,188 valid registrations to add to the master register of 84,004,084 previously captured and verified voters. The new total now stands at 93,522,272.
The INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, during the commission’s 3rd quarterly meeting with political parties for 2022, said the registrations nullified were those of “double/multiple registrants, underaged persons and outrightly fake registrations”
He said, “At the end of the exercise, 12,298,944 Nigerians successfully completed the registration as new voters. All along, we have repeatedly assured Nigerians that our process of cleaning up the register is robust. After a rigorous cleaning-up of the data using the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS), a total of 2,780,756 (22.6%) were identified as ineligible registrants and invalidated from the record, among them double/multiple registrants, underaged persons and outrightly fake registrations that fail to meet our business rules. Consequently, the number of valid registrations (post-ABIS) is 9,518,188.
“In terms of demographic distribution, 7.2 million new voters or 76.5% are young people between 18-34 years while there is a slightly higher number of female (4.8 million or 50.82%) than male (4.6 million or 49.18%) voters. In terms of occupation, 3.8 million (40.8%) are students. Hard copies giving the full details of the distribution of the new voters are included in your folders for this meeting. The soft copy has already been uploaded to the Commission’s website and social media platforms,” he said.
akubu noted that INEC “deployed thousands of diligent staff for the CVR exercise and the vast majority of them discharged their duties conscientiously. Unfortunately, a few of them did not. The fictitious registrations were carried out by some of our Registration Officers involved in the field exercise and could easily be traced. Each registration machine is operated using an access code tied to a dedicated e-mail assigned to a staff.
“There is therefore an audit trail that gives the total number of persons registered by each official involved in the registration exercise. In some case, some of them made as many as 40 attempts or more to register one fake voter. As a result, the Commission has so far identified 23 Registration Officers involved in this unethical conduct and disciplinary action has commenced. We shall continue to protect the integrity of our voters’ register. It is pivotal to credible elections. It is also a national asset and easily the largest database of citizens in Africa and one of the largest in the world.”
Yakubu added that INEC “is also working hard to ensure the completion of printing of remaining PVCs for new voters as well as those that applied to transfer or the replacement of their lost or damaged cards. In the coming days, we will also inform Nigerians of the detailed plan to ensure a seamless collection of the PVCs. We are aware that Nigerians expect an improvement in the procedure for PVC collection. Since the end of the CVR in July this year, we have been working to ensure that citizens have a pleasant experience when they come to collect their cards.”