The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appealed to Nigerians to help it identify underage persons on the preliminary register of voters for the 2023 elections.
Festus Okoye, INEC spokesperson, made the appeal on Monday in an interview on Channels TV
The electoral body recently published the preliminary register of voters for the 2023 elections, with a number of underage voters and double registrations detected by Nigerians.
Nigerians have taken to social media with snapshots of sections of the voters’ register showing pictures of persons who appear to be below the age of 18.
Reacting to the development, Okoye said the essence of the preliminary voters’ register is for Nigerians to make claims, raise objections, and identify biodata errors.
“The essence of putting out this is for Nigerians to help the commission further clean up the voters’ register,” Okoye said.
“We want people to look at the register and assist the commission to check whether their names have been properly spelt; whether their personal particulars have been properly captured; whether some pictures are not upside down; whether there are still names of deceased persons on the register; whether there are obviously underage persons on the register, so that we can correct them.”
Asked if Nigerians can trust the INEC list of voters, the spokesperson said the commission cannot claim that the register is free of “errors or challenges”.
“We cannot claim, in all honesty, that the register does not have errors. If the lawmakers believe that the register should not have errors or challenges, they won’t have provided in section 19, subsection 1-3 that such a register should be displayed for people to make claims, objections or lay complaints,” he added.
“We agree that the register is not perfect; because it is not perfect, that is why we have this display for claims and objections.
“We use our automated biometrics identification system to remove multiple and double registrations and then we did what we called manual adjudication to remove obviously underage persons.
“Apparently, there are still obviously underage persons on the voters’ register and we expect Nigerians to take a look at the voters’ register, both the ones we displayed at the various registration centres and LGAs and also on the website, and assist the commission to point out these things so that the commission can further clean up the register.”