Nigeria displays voters` register

Nigeria began displaying register of voters for the April polls even as multiple registration was reported to have taken place in some centres.

Last Updated: Feb 16, 2011, 11:34 AM IST

Abuja: Nigeria began displaying register
of voters for the April polls even as multiple registration
was reported to have taken place in some centres.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),
in charge of the oil-rich African country`s just-concluded
registration of eligible voters exercise which saw 62.2
million voters recorded, said that at various centres in Kebbi
state, people were registered more than once thereby delaying
the display of names which would end on Friday.
At different centres in the commercial capital of
Lagos, no names were displayed as planned and the voters
themselves were apathetic to the display as very few turned
out to check if their names were published.

"I am contented with my registration card and whether
they display it or not, I am sure of voting during the
elections," a voter, Kashimowo Johnson, told PTI at Apapa
High School registration centre where the display was yet to
start.

The exercise was interrupted today by the public
holiday declared nationwide to celebrate the birthday of
Prophet Muhammed, the founder of Islam.
On the issue of multiple registrations, INEC office in
South-western state of Ekiti today announced that the
commission has started installing a special software that
would enable it detect those who were registered more than
once.

The INEC spokesman in the state, Taiwo Gbadegesin,
said the Commission has started the display of the Registers
in all the 2,195 polling units across the State, adding that
the verification of multiple registration exercise would be
done centrally at the Commission`s headquarters in Ado Ekiti
and not in all the polling units as being done in the ongoing
display of registers.

Influential Thisday newspaper reported that in another
South-western state of Oyo the exercise took off on a poor
note as there were no lists displayed at several registration
centres in the state`s capital of Ibadan.

The setbacks notwithstanding, the INEC chairman,
Professor Attahiru Jega said that his commission is poise to
conduct a free and fair election exercise and emphasised the
importance of the voters register as a necessary tool to the
conduct of free polls.

Nigeria, Africa`s biggest democracy with a population
of 150 million people has scheduled elections for April.

The elections will be contested by President Goodluck
Jonathan and other presidential candidates, including former
head of state, General Ibrahim Buhari and former anti-graft
chief Nuhu Ribadu.

PTI