The House of Representatives has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to take immediate action and remove millions of deceased and non-existent persons’ names from the Voter Register. This resolution was passed following the adoption of a motion under Matter of Urgent Public Importance titled: ‘Urgent need for INEC to develop a mechanism to clean up its system of dead and fictitious registered voters,’ sponsored by Hon. Leke Abejide.
Hon. Abejide, in his lead debate, pointed out that the INEC register is full of millions of deceased and non-existent persons, and that it was glaringly evident in the last General Election that long-dead people had their names still displayed in the voters’ register. He even gave a personal example of his father, who passed away long ago, still having his name displayed on the board.
The House also acknowledged that millions of fictitious voters who do not exist anywhere on this planet earth have their names on INEC’s registered voters. It is believed that this came to be as a result of double or multiple registrations by Nigerians who had or have the intention of rigging elections. However, with the advent of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS), these faceless individuals can no longer vote.
To address this issue, the lawmakers tasked INEC management with the need to embark on vigorous public enlightenment for all Nigerians to be aware of what makes the voters’ register bogus: the number of dead and fictitious persons. Additionally, the lawmakers urged the Commission to develop a mechanism or software application where families who lost their loved ones could report the demise of a particular PVC number so that it can be duly deleted from INEC register, Polling Unit, and Ward.
The lawmakers emphasized that whoever does not vote in two election cycles back should be back deleted from INEC register as a non-existing human being. To ensure compliance, the House mandated its Committee on Electoral Matters to take the necessary steps.
This motion is a step in the right direction, and it is important that INEC takes immediate action to clean up its system. Removing deceased and non-existent persons’ names from the Voter Register will help to ensure that only eligible voters participate in elections and prevent the manipulation of election results.