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21 Jun 2018

2019: 300 non-Nigerians caught registering to vote — INEC chairman reveals

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has revealed that more than 300 non-Nigerians have been apprehended for attempting to register for Permanent Voters Card, PVC.

Speaking at an election stakeholders’ summit in Abuja, INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, also disclosed that Nigerian Immigration Service has been deployed to arrest any foreigner who tried to register.

He also revealed that the commission was working on a draft policy on diaspora voting, even as he said the commission was collaborating with security agencies and formulating administrative procedures to check the incident of vote buying at polling centres.

He also noted that 138 political associations had applied for registration as political parties ahead of the 2109 general elections.

He said: “As at June 8, 2018, we have received requests from 138 associations to register as political parties to join the already 68 registered political parties. So, we may have more than the 68 registered political parties before the 2019 general elections.”

He, however, expressed worries that registering more political parties could have effect on the size of ballot paper, the ballot box and also have implications on the speed of processing the election outcome.

On when the ballot papers could be ready, he said: “I am looking at November when we will have the sample of the ballot paper and by that time we would also have known the number of political parties contesting in each constituency.”

He said that currently, there were 1,146 registration centres nationwide.

On when the voters’ cards would be ready, he said: “We have been processing the cards and we will make sure that citizens collect their PVCs before the 2019 general elections.

“Vote buying is a big problem and we have been working with the EFCC and the police on this. We have to look at the administration of voting process by ensuring increased secrecy at the voting point.”

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