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Plateau wants INEC to extend voter registration period


JOS – The Plateau Government on Saturday called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the ongoing voter registration in the state.
The Commissioner for Information and Communication in the state, Mr Abubakar Mohammed, made call while monitoring the exercise in Jos South Local Government Area and Barkin Local Government Area.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the five-day exercise was intended for the registration of persons, who could not do so in 2011, and those who had attained 18 years between that time and now.
Mohammed said that the period provided for the exercise was inadequate for the number of persons eligible for registration in the state.
He stated that if the registration period was not extended, many potential voters in the state would not be registered and would therefore, be denied the right to vote during the elections.
“The days are very inadequate. From what we have observed from 2011 to date, the people that have attained the age of 18 are many.
“The five days set aside by INEC for the exercise are inadequate, coupled with the fact that within the first two days, there were so many hitches concerning the exercise.
“We are calling for the extension because if people are disenfranchised anything can happen. It is their right and they must be given the opportunity to choose their leaders in 2015,’’ he said.
Mohammed also called on the people in the state to come out to be registered.
He advised INEC to rely on manual register, adding that the electronic register may disappoint the commission and the nation.
Also speaking on the issue, Mr Ezekiel Dung, Special Adviser to Barkin Ladi Local Government Area Chairman, said that it would be difficult to register persons qualified for the exercise in the state within the five-day period.
“I have been around since the exercise started and I have observed that the machines are very slow,” he said.
Reacting, Mr Samuel Ageba, Registration Officer I, Duraso Polling Unit, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, said that the machine assigned to him for the exercise had become slow due to some fault.
“On the first day, I registered 213 people; on the second day, I registered 163 but I doubt whether I will register up to 100 people today.
“I complained to the INEC Area Office and they promised to replace the machine. I doubt whether I can register all the people in the unit within the five days,’’ he said. (NAN)

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