Friday 4 February 2011

Nigeria: INEC Voter Registration Review V

It ends tomorrow

We are coming to the close of the third week of voters’ registration in Nigeria; the exercise was after much anxiety extended for another week just 24 hours to the end of the original 14-day plan.

When the INEC Chairman met the Joint Committee on Electoral Matters at the Nigerian National Assembly he suggested that just one extra week would be needed to clear the backlog of unregistered possible voters.

Numbers and fumblers

The projection was to register 70 million Nigerians for the April 2011 elections, at the end of the two week period it was said that 59 million had been registered at the rate of 4.3 million people a day, however, with 48 hours to run, this number was revised downwards with 54.9 million having been registered at the rate of 3.2 million people a day.

Which #INECRegistration figure is right? 59m in 14 days or 54.9m in 19 days?

That great discrepancy in figures is worrisome because it suggests the estimators were out by 1.1 million people per day, meaning that at the end of the first 14 day period, the figures were grossly inflated by 14.2 million prospective voters.

Many will lose out

Looking at the figures, it then suggests that about 44.8 million voters were registered by Saturday the 29th of January 2011 and by the 3rd of February 2011 another 10.1 million voters had been added to the tally leaving an estimated 15.1 million Nigerians left to avail themselves of registration in the last 48 hours.

There is no way that number would be catered for and it appears INEC might just get to 62 million at best with 8 million seemingly disenfranchised and that might be due to a number of factors from poor logistics and planning (observed as overcrowded polling units), malfunctioning registration equipment or procrastination and apathy on the part of Nigerians.

#INECregistration, We are down to one DDC for now. The second one's overheating so it's been shut down to receive 'fresh air'.

The Punch: Relocate DDC machines to populous areas in Lagos’: via @addthis #INECRegistration

bubusn If INEC won't move less crowded units around, we'll move people around to them. #INECRegistration

There is probably no case for extending the registration period beyond the 5th of February 2011, we had all been adequately informed, it could have been properly planned for, the people could have taken time to ensure that they were registered despite the frustrating situations they might have encountered and it could have been dealt with, with a great sense of civic responsibility for what the 2011 elections mean for Nigeria.

@bubusn @inecnigeria How much of the #INECRegistration issues are due to INEC or are due to people who did not prioritise this activity?

Champion Newspapers The governor ofAnambra State only just performed his #INECRegistration yesterday2/2/11

The same problems again

The logistics issues remained but not as grave as they were at the beginning, it was more about the inadequate supply of DDC machines to meet the demand and a few instances of the inability of the registered to collect their cards and where they have, the cards may not have been laminated.

AkwaImoh #INECRegistration some centres in my Location are not laminating the Voters Card. And this doesn't help people because it will be hard to maintain

Some criminality had also been observed of people being charged to register or print their cards, in other cases people were registering in order to sell their cards to the highest bidder.

nelsonisibor Today I experienced first-hand how party agents when unchecked can hijack #INECregistration, it's like a 'film trick'.

The Sun News On-line |Voters’ #INECRegistration: Oyo police arrest PDP chieftain with 25 underage students @addthis

That latter situation should if the technical specification of the registration dynamics are as we are told root out people who are using false identities because pictures and fingerprints have to match to validate a voter and allow the person participate in voting.

However, there would be many who would try to game the system.

It is not mandatory

The illegalities include making having a voter’s registration card to access goods and services in Nigeria, that is unconstitutional; it is within the rights of each citizens to decide to participate in the electoral process or not. However, if such a person does not participate, it would be of concern if the said person then feels they have assumed the right to criticise how they are governed.

Mandatory Voter #INECRegistration Unconstitutional: A Judiciary For Sale! via @addthis

amasonic A voters' card is meant for voting, not as a requirement when seeking for employment #inecregistration

Processing the data

The next stage which could be fraught with issues is the collation of the voters register where the data on the DDC machines and the external hard disks are fed into the super computer that would process all the information and eventually produce a voters list that can be inspected by users.

If INEC do in fact capture 88% of the electorate and the turnout for elections exceeds 70% of that number, we might well have the makings of credible elections if the votes are counted as the voters have intended.

@EngrMuza @sfladipo @nnabros It shows that after #INECRegistration we have to keep the pressure on to Select, Vote & Protect #RSVP

There is one day left and it is worrisome to hear that there are many especially amongst the youth who have not risen to the revolutionary opportunity to rise, speak up and let their voices be heard about the direction of their country.

BSKukawa I think Nigerians need to be educated on their rights. #INECRegistration

nelsonisibor #INECregistration Tomorrow, I'm mobilizing a hundred friends who are yet to register. We’ll be @ different PU's as early as 5am to get a head start.

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