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Published On: Tue, Jun 3rd, 2014

Reps urge INEC to extend voter registration by one week

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House of Representatives reps logoBy Umar Muhammad Puma

The House of Representatives has directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend its voter registration exercise by one week in the ten states across the country, to give more time for Nigerians to exercise their civic rights.

In a motion, read by Rep. Hassan Saleh (PDP Benue), this became necessary to avoid disenfranchising Nigerians as most of the exercise staff had appeared to be at a loss on how to operate the machines properly during the period.

According to Saleh, “Despite the 2 days extension of the exercise by INEC, the irregularities and equipment failures recorded could not allow large number of people to be captured in the voter register.

Chairman of the House committee on INEC, Rep Jery Manwe (PDP, Taraba) while acknowledging the numerous cases of complaints about the exercise, however said all the problems have arisen out of fund shortage to the commission.

“During the 2014 budget defence, I drew the attention of this House of fund inadequacy for INEC. In the 2014 budget, there was request to purchase new DDCs and to pay the INEC’s ad hoc staff. But only two weeks ago, the budget was signed. No agency has received anything from the budget,” he said.

The House unanimously adopted the motion when it was put to vote by Emeka Ihedioha, who presided the plenary.

Meanwhile, Members of the House of Representatives will sit at plenary for 186 days in their fourth and final session, beginning from June, 9 this year to June 4, 2015.

This was contained in the fourth session legislative calendar presented at plenary yesterday by chairman House committee on Rules and Business Rep Albert Tanimu Sam-Tsokwa (PDP, Taraba).

Sam-Tsokwa said the committee came up with the calendar based on the constitutional provision, which says the lawmakers must sit for a minimum of 181 days in a calendar year.

The fourth session legislative calendar showed that the lawmakers would have different breaks covering the period of 76 days.

A closer examination of the legislative calendar indicated that the lawmakers will first go on a 5-day break from June 9 to June 13, 2014 before embarking on their annual recess from July 18 to September 12 this year.

In October, the lawmakers will embark on another break, from October 1 to October 10 for both Independence Day and Eid-El Kabir celebration, while another 15-day break for Christmas and New Year will come between December 22, 2014 and January 9, 2015.

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