In accordance with the new Electoral Act 2022, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has required all registered political parties to submit copies of their membership record to the commission before their primary elections.
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), made the directive. This was at the second regular quarterly meeting of Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in Abuja on Thursday, April 21.
Political parties must present their registered members to the commission 30 days before their primary; according to the new Electoral Act, Yakubu said.
“Let me also seize this opportunity to remind political parties that by the provision of Section 77 of the Electoral Act 2022; each party is required to maintain a membership register in hard and soft copy; and to make such register available to the Commission. This is not later than 30 days before the date fixed for primaries, congresses and conventions.
“So far, only one political party has complied. It is a mandatory requirement of the law and all parties are required to comply.
“Doing otherwise is like going into an election without the register of voters. There can be no credible primary or general election without a credible register of voters,” Yakubu said.
The INEC chairman also advised the RECs to thoroughly study the new Electoral Act; saying a credible election is anchored on the law.
“As you are aware, the Electoral Act, together with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended); and our Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections, constitute the electoral legal framework for elections.
“As election managers, it is incumbent upon us to familiarise ourselves with the legal framework.”
On the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), particularly the creation of additional centres to devolve the exercise beyond INEC State and Local Government offices nationwide; Yakubu said that a total of 2,673 centres had been activated nationwide.
He disclosed that in the last week of the exercise, 405,587 eligible Nigerians had completed the registration at the various centres.
This, according to him, represents about a 31 per cent increase on the average figure of 125,000 weekly registrations; since the exercise commenced in June 2021.
Yakubu also said that while INEC expected a surge in new registrations as it approached its June 30 deadline, it was prepared for it.
He, however, said that INEC was concerned about the safety of prospective registrants, INEC personnel, equipment and materials; including the printed Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) made available for collection by registered voters.