NIN not mandatory for voter registration – INEC

…Commences registration June 28

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that the National Identification Number (NIN) is not mandatory for voter registration.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the clarification to newsmen yesterday, in Abuja, saying that the NIN was only a means of identification for registration as listed in the Electoral Act.

“I want to make this important clarification. NIN is not going to be made mandatory for voter registration. This is for a simple reason that we are operating on basis of the law establishing INEC.

He explained further: “Section 10 of the Electoral Act lists identifications to be presented by prospective registrants for the purpose of voter registration to includes birth certificate, national passport, national identity card.

“We cannot single NIN out and make it mandatory. All the other requirements are of the law and we must apply the law appropriately.

“If you have your national ID card, we will register you on presentation of the card, but we will not make it a mandatory means of identification for the exercise”.

“Since the law, the Electoral Act does not make it mandatory, it is only one of the many means of identification required,” Yakubu emphasised.

The INEC boss also stated that it will begin its nationwide Continuous Voter Registration, (CVR) exercise across the 774 local government areas on June 28 ahead of the 2023 general elections.

According to him, “The CVR could not recommence in 2020 due largely to the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with the general advise by health officials regarding events involving large groups of people, we considered it inauspicious to restart the CVR at the height of the pandemic. In the light of the pandemic, the commission promised the nation that it would recommend the CVR in the first quarter of 2021.

He also declared the indefinite suspension of the bye-election held in Ekiti East following killings, stating: “if the purpose of election is to kill, the election will remain suspended indefinitely. And when I mean indefinitely, I mean indefinitely”.

According to him, the registration exercise would be carried out continuously for over a year until the third quarter of 2022.

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