Reps ask INEC to release cards to registered voters
The House of Representatives has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately commence the distribution of voters’ cards not distributed before the last elections in the country.
The chamber at plenary yesterday also urged the electoral umpire to embark on continuous voter registration and distribution of voters’ cards.
Adopting the prayers of a motion introduced on the floor by Shadimu Motiu Alao, the House noted that the Electoral Act, 2010 empowers INEC to make voters’ cards available to registered voters well ahead of voting days, while expressing concern over the manner the commission handled the distribution of voters’ cards during the 2015 general elections.
Earlier in his lead debate, Alao informed the parliament that during the 2015 general elections, the manner INEC carried out the distribution of the cards disenfranchised millions of Nigerians nationwide.
Specifically, the lawmaker said while some states got a large percentage of voters’ cards, other states like Lagos with higher voters got far less voters’ cards, culminating in mass disenfranchisement of eligible voters.
“The uneven distribution of voters’ cards may, in some cases, produce unpopular candidates resulting in triumph of the minority over the majority, which is antithetical to all known democratic tenets,” he said.
He called on the House to prevail on the Federal Government to ensure provision of funds for INEC to cope with its enormous responsibilities as and when due.
Consequently, the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, mandated the House Committees on Electoral and Political Party Matters, Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance with the resolution.
In a related development, the Chamber also passed for second reading, a Bill for an Act to establish the Electoral Offences Tribunal for the purpose of trying electoral offences; and a Bill for an Act to establish the Nigerian Electoral Offences Commission charged with the responsibility of Prohibition and Prosecution of electoral offences; and other related matters.
John Dyegh and Francis Charles Uduyok sponsored the proposed legislation.