The House of Representatives has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to delete from the voters’ register data of voters that fail to vote in two election cycles.
The House made the call on Thursday following the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance moved by Leke Abejide (ADC, Kogi).
The lawmakers resolved that whoever did not vote in the two election cycles held on 25 February and 18 March back to back be deleted from INEC register as non-existing human beings.
They resolved that INEC should develop a mechanism or software application where families who lost their loved ones can report the demise of a particular PVC number so that it can be duly deleted from INEC register, Polling unit, and Ward.
Moving the motion, Mr Abejide said several dead and fictitious persons were discovered in the voters’ register.
“In the last general election, it was glaring and crystal clear that people that were long dead had their names still displayed in the voters’ register. Even my own deceased Father who passed on long ago still has his name displayed on the board.
“Apart from dead voters there are millions of fictitious voters who do not exist anywhere on this planet earth but have their names on the INEC voters register,” he said.
Speaking against the motion, Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta), said the proposal is against the principle of the 1999 constitution. He said the right to vote is a fundamental right that is not subject to voting.
“When you are registered, it is a fundamental right. Those of them that have availed themselves to be registered the Constitution gives them that right whether they go to the polls to vote or not. Using that as a criterion to delist such persons is not in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic,” Mr Ossai said.
He added that the mover of the motion failed to provide facts to back the claims he is making. “Our members are speculating without facts. This motion should have been accompanied by facts,” he said.
Mr Ossai declared that the motion is “unconstitutional,” adding “It will fringe the rights of Nigerians”.
Sada Soli (APC, Katsina) said the motion is only asking INEC to clean its register ahead of the off-season elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo States.
Following the debate, the motion was taken with an amendment that INEC should embark on verification of the data in the register.
When the motion was put to vote by the Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase, members voted in support of it.
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