NIN Is Not Mandatory For Voter Registration — INEC
—Continuous Voter Registration To Begin June 28
The use of the National Identification Number (NIN) will not be a mandatory requirement for voters wishing to register during the forthcoming Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, made the clarification in Abuja, while addressing the press.
Announcing that INEC would commence the CVR on June 28, Prof Yakubu disclosed that the National Identity Card (NIC) containing the NIN is but one means of identification listed in Section 10, subsection 10 of the Electoral Act and so cannot be singled out and made mandatory in the exercise.
He also said that singling out the NIN as mandatory requirement for the exercise would not be in conformity with the relevant laws.
Other means of identification include the national passport, birth certificate, drivers license and any other means of identification.
The INEC Chair also revealed that the earlier system of Voter identification known as the Direct Data Capturing Machine (DDC) would now be replaced by a new compact registration devices that will better serve the purpose during elections. The new device known as; the INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED) he said, is based on an Android tablet.
According to him, “the Commission is therefore migrating to the INEC IVED, which is based on an Android tablet. The procurement of the devices, the modification of the registration software by our in-house engineers to make it compatible with the Android Operating System, as well as integrating these with the online registration portal require a little time.” he announced.
Under the arrangement, expansion of voter access to Polling Units will begin on May 11th, the building and testing the online registration portal is slated for May 15th, the arrival of the IVED is scheduled for May 31st while the recruitment and training of Voter Enrolment Staff is billed to begin on June 14th, 2021.
The INEC boss also stated that those who should be registered are those that have just turned 18, those that may not have been registered before, those who may have either lost their voters cards or their cards were defaced. He added that the exercise would last for over a year
He explained that “Effective from Monday June 28th 2021, the CVR exercise will commence nationwide and carried out simultaneously for over a year until the third quarter of 2022. However, emphasis will initially be on Anambra State where more centres will be established in view of the governorship election already scheduled for Saturday 6th November 2021.”
This is as Prof Yakubu warned against engaging in double registration as defaulters would be made to face the full weight of.
Asked how this violation affects Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, who was alleged to have registered twice before the 2019 electon, the INEC Boss said the question should come after the governor loses the immunity which he currently enjoys under constitution.
Prof. Yakubu also appealed to all Nigerians to support the commission on its quest to deliver credible elections at all times.