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Voter register: CSO urges punishment for perpetrators of reported infractions

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) on Saturday, called for punishment for perpetrators of reported infractions in the voter register by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

CDD Director, Idayat Hassan, made the call in a statement in Abuja.

“Technological advancements in the electoral process, such as the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) have been well received in the recently conducted Ekiti and Osun off-cycle elections.

“But we note the concerns about voter duplication and underage voters appearing on the voter register that undermine its credibility.

“Where substantiated, these should be grounds for strict sanctions to the erring individuals and the officials responsible for registering and accrediting these individuals,” she said.

Hassan said with less than 100 days to go to the 2023 general elections, the CDD-West Africa observed that while preparations appeared to be in line with the pre-determined electoral timetable, there had been “concerns about the manner in which campaigns are being carried out nationwide.

“There have been repeated incidents of violence, especially against facilities of INEC and irresponsible rhetoric by candidates.

“We note that the recent attacks in Ogun and Osun states have prompted security agencies to develop clear plans of action to mitigate against subsequent incidents.

“But we are concerned that these incidents can be damaging to popular confidence in the democratic process.”

The director urged all actors to take advantage of the period leading up to the election to support sensitisation efforts and to work on ways that the process could be managed in a sensitive and responsible manner.

INEC on Thursday said it cannot rule out infractions by its registration officials in allowing ineligible persons into the voter register to be displayed first, at the Registration Area level.

The registration held from November 12 to 18 and at the local government level from November 19 to 25. 

The National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, the commission said each confirmed case of infraction would be thoroughly investigated and culpable officials disciplined.

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