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Reps urge INEC to extend voter registration



…Mull amendment of Electoral Act on statutory delegates
…SEJUP backs lawmakers’ call for extension

INDEPENDENT National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been urged to extend the June 30 deadline for voter registration by 60 days.

  Members of House of Representatives made the call during their plenary session, yesterday.

  Explaining the proposal as only way through which more eligible Nigerians may avail themselves of the exercise by registering and getting their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and participate in the 2023 general elections, the federal lawmakers also mandated Committee on Electoral Matters to engage with INEC in “examining and proffering solutions to shortage of registration machines and manpower marring the exercise in some centres across the country.”

  The lower chambers also urged INEC to deploy 30 additional voter registration machines in each of 774 local government areas, employing and training ad hoc staff and providing security for those hired.

  The committee has two weeks to report back for further legislative action.

  Meanwhile, House of Representatives has concluded plans to override President Muhammadu Buhari on Section 84(8) of the Electoral Act 2022 which seeks to provide for statutory delegates at the meetings, congresses and conventions of political parties.

  In a related development, General Manager of the Society for Equity, Justice and Peace (SEJUP), Emma Ezenwaji, has called on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the ongoing voters registration exercise slated to end on June 30, to at least August 2022, to enable a good number of Nigerians to exercise their franchise in the forthcoming general elections.

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  Ezenwaji made the call while speaking in a media programme in Awka, on Democracy Day.

  While recalling the modus operandi of the Humphrey Nwosu-led INEC, Dr Ezenwaji, who was an INEC State Director for Logistics during the June 12 general election, urged the present electoral empire to be indigenous in operations and to study what made the election one of the most best and fairest in the nation.

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