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2.525 million people to vote in Anambra governorship election

...As INEC begs politicians not to heighten insecurity with utterances

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that 2.525 million voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in the November 6 Anambra governorship election.

These comprised the 77,475 new registrants at the end of the first quarter of the Continuous Voter’s Registration (CVR) exercise on 5th September and the existing register of 2,447,996 eligible voters used for the 2019 General Election.

INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu who disclosed this at the emergency meeting of political parties and the Commission in Abuja on Friday, said work is ongoing on the printing of the PVCs for new registrants.

Yakubu assured that INEC shall use various channels, including e-mails and text messages, to contact the new voters to collect their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) before the election.

“You may recall that before the end of the First Quarter of the CVR nationwide, we devolved the exercise to the Wards or Registration Areas in Anambra State. The end of registration was followed by the cleanup of the data to remove the names of ineligible registrants before the printing of the PVCs.

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“In Anambra State, a total of 138,802 citizens completed the registration, including applications for transfer and requests for replacement of lost, damaged or defaced PVCs as required by law.

However, in the process of cleaning up the registration data, we discovered that many previously registered persons re-registered afresh.

“As a testimony to the effectiveness of our new system for checking double and multiple registrations, the Commission found out that some 62,698 persons who are already registered voters in Anambra State went ahead to register again.

“These double or multiple registrations are invalid by law. We have archived these registrations and will not print new PVCs for them. Their old PVCs remain valid and they can use them to vote at the Polling Units where they registered and probably voted in previously elections”, he said.

Yakubu said INEC has almost completed the recruitment of ad-hoc staff for the election, explaining that about 26,000 election duty staff are required for the election.

He appealed to all political parties and candidates not to exacerbate the feeling of insecurity in Anambra State through unguarded utterances and actions as such could compound the security situation and make the work of the Commission, political parties and security agencies even more difficult.

“Security remains a major challenge to our preparations. For the political parties, these heinous attacks have truncated campaigns, making voter mobilization and sensitisation impossible. Consequently, Anambra State is not in the usual election mood.

“It is in light of the security situation in the state that the Commission held an emergency meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) last Tuesday.

The meeting was frank and productive. We are assured of the determination of the security agencies to protect voters, election staff, election observers, the media, transport providers and candidates during the election.

“Already, security around INEC facilities in the state has been ramped up. We are also confident that the heightened deployment of security officials, which is expected in the coming weeks, will further give citizens the confidence to turn up and vote on Election Day. We shall continue to work with the security agencies to ensure that the election is successful and violence-free,” the INEC Chairman added.

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