By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Thursday, clarified that the National Identification Number (NIN) would not be made mandatory for its coming continuous voter’s registration, CVR.
The CVR has been scheduled to recommence in June 28, this year.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the clarification while addressing journalists in Abuja.
The NIN, Yakubu pointed out, was only a means of identification for registration listed in the Electoral Act.
In an answer to a question on the issue, Yakubu said, “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 law establishing INEC.
“Section 10 of the Electoral Act lists of identifications to be presented by prospective registrants for the purpose of voter registration includes birth certificate, National Passport, National Identify card, Driver licence or any other document that will prove the Identity, age of the applicant,’’ he explained.
The INEC Chairman noted that the NIN card is just one of the means of identifications provided for under section 10 sub section 2 of the Electoral Act.
His words, “We cannot single that (NIN) out and make it mandatory.
“All the other requirements are requirements of the law and we must apply the law appropriately.
“Yes, if you have your national ID card, we will register you on that basis of presentation on the card, but we will not make it 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,” he explained.
The Chairman further said that INEC has announced June 28 for the resumption of its suspended Continuous Voters Registration across the country, with new technology. He said that the commission would replace its Direct Data Capture Machine introduced in 2011, for voter registration with a new technology called, INEC Voter Enrolment Device.
He explained that with the new innovations, prospective registrants could apply only and go to the nearest registration centre for data capturing to complete the exercise.
Yakubu further said that provision had been made for extra registration centres across the country, based on the measures in place to avoid overcrowding at registration points for those that want to do physical registration,
On COVID-19 pandemic, the INEC boss said that 1,000 registration centres had been added to the existing 1,446 for the exercise to reach as many people as possible.
He however, advised prospective registrants that it was an offence to register more than once, saying, “citizens should only register once’’.