Ahead of the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States, House of Representatives yesterday called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to embark on distribution of outstanding voters’ cards in the country, especially in Edo and Ondo States.
The lawmakers also urged INEC to embark on continuous registration of eligible voters and called on the federal government to ensure provision of funds for the commission to cope with its enormous responsibilities as at when due.
The resolution followed a motion on: ‘Need for the Independent National Electoral Commission to Release Outstanding Voters’ Cards not released before the last General Elections’ moved by Hon. Shadimu Mutiu Alao.
Leading the debate on the floor of the House, Alao noted that Nigeria practices a presidential democracy, which involves direct voting by eligible citizens for candidates of their choice in general elections.
He cited that the 2010 Electoral Act empowers INEC to make voters’ cards available to registered voters well ahead of the voting days.
The lawmaker expressed worry that the manner INEC handled the distribution of voters’ cards during the 2015 general elections disenfranchised millions of Nigerians nationwide.
Alao lamented that while some states got a large percentage of voters’ cards, other states like Lagos, with higher voters, got far less voters cards, thus culminating in mass disenfranchisement of eligible voters.
He further pointed out that uneven distribution of voters’ cards might, in some cases, produce unpopular candidates, resulting in triumph of the minority over the majority.
In its resolution, the House mandated its Committees on Electoral and Political Party Matters and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance with its resolution.
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Source:: Nigerian Pilot