By Christiana Ekpa and Umar Muhammad Puma
The House of Representatives yesterday urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to adopt all necessary measures to ensure that all eligible voters are registered and issued with Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) without further delay.
The House equally mandated its Committee on Electoral and Political Party Matters to ensure compliance.
This followed a motion by Hon Ayeola Abdul-Kabir (Lagos-APC) on the “Need to Ensure that all Eligible Voters are Registered and Issued with Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs).”
Presenting the motion, Abdul-Kabir explained that in preparation towards the 2019 General Elections, INEC was carrying out continuous voters’ registration all over the country to enable eligible voters register and collect PVCs.
“Many Nigerians who have attained the age of 18 years or more have presented themselves at various registration centres of INEC in different parts of the country but have neither been registered nor issued with the PVCs.
“INEC has not been able to effect the transfer of many persons from the places where they were originally registered and given Voter’s Cards to their current places of residence despite their having the necessary requirements.
“If INEC does not intensify its efforts and correct all the inadequacies and lapses in the on-going Continuous Registration of Voters, many Nigerians would be disenfranchised during the 2019 General Elections.”
He emphasised that one of the ways of making the 2019 General Elections credible was by allowing eligible voters to register and vote in the elections, thereby enhancing the stability and growth of Nigeria’s democracy.
Contributing to the motion, Rep. Nasiru Ahmed (Kano-APC) said that the motion on registration for PVCs and vote was timely.
“Registration and voting is a continuous thing as people are being transfered and some people turn 18 years every year which is the eligible age to vote.
“ This people should be registered to set the pace for good governance in the country as every single vote matters.
“It is important that every eligible voter from the age of 18 is registered,” he said.
In his contribution, Leader of the House, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, said “you can be a citizen of a country and attain the age of voting and you are not allowed to vote.
“It is a fundamental human right for every eligible voter.
“When you suspend someone from voting, you are depriving that person his or her human right.
“The whole task is a freedom of expression, when you deny someone right to vote, you are denying that person his or fundamental human right.
“If someone moves from a place or change a location and you deny the person the right to change their voters card, you are denying them right to movement.
“INEC should be told to do the right thing because anything beyond that is a breach of human right,”he said.
Also in her contribution, Rep. Beni Lar (Plateau-PDP), said that INEC should enlighten the public against double registration by looking at
The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara.