By Chinwe Ogbuka, Assistant Director, Publicity
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has registered a total of 10,292,647 Nigerians as at Friday July 13, 2018, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has said.
The Chairman, disclosed this on 18th July at a regular meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) of the Commission, held at the INEC Conference hall, Maitama, Abuja.
Prof. Yakubu said that the meeting, coming immediately after the Ekiti State Governorship election held on Saturday July 14, would focus on the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) to be suspended on August 17, 2018 till after the 2019 general elections.
The Chairman further said that the meeting would also strategize on the issue of uncollected Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), while assuring all registered voters that their PVCs would be available for collection before the 2019 General Elections.
He stated that the meeting would reflect on the Ekiti election and also discuss preparations for a number of other elections, including the Osun State Governorship Election scheduled for Saturday September 22, 2018.
The Chairman announced that the Commission has received official declaration of vacancies from the National Assembly in respect of Bauchi South Senatorial District, Katsina North Senatorial District and the Lokoja/Koton Karfe Federal Constituency in Kogi State.
Prof. Yakubu said that a similar declaration was made by the Cross River State House of Assembly in respect of Obudu 1 State Constituency, adding that the ”Commission is set to conduct by-elections to fill the vacancies in the four constituencies, which have a total of over 2 million registered voters spread across 3,355 polling units in 234 Wards and 22 Local Government Areas.”
According to the Chairman, considering the requirement of the law that such election shall be conduced within 30 days following the declaration of vacancy, the Commission plans to conduct all the four elections on the same day
The Chairman said that these by-elections ”will offer the Commission yet another opportunity to fine-tune our processes and procedures in preparation for the Osun State Governorship election and ultimately the 2019 General Elections.”
He reassured Nigerians that the Commission would continue to improve the quality of elections drawing from the lessons learnt from the collective experience of having conducted elections into 281constituencies since 2015 General Elections made up of 6 State Governorship elections, 11 Senatorial Districts, 23 Federal Constituencies, 73 State Constituencies and 68 Area Council Constituencies in the Federal Capital Territory.