By Abimbola Ogunnaike
Immediate past Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to integrate voters’ registers with the National Identification Number (NIN) database in order to maintain the integrity and transparency of the country’s elections, thegazellenews.com reports.
Aregbesola said that by doing so, the era of underage voting and numerous registrations will come to an end.
The former Osun State Governor made the remarks on Tuesday, 11 July, 2023 while presenting the lead paper, “Towards Free, Fair, and Credible Elections,” at the 7th International Conference of the Professional Statisticians Society of Nigeria (PSSN) at Nasarawa State University, Keffi.
“I am suggesting a more seamless registration system that will be continuous and terminate only a few weeks before the election, to allow for compilation and printing of cards. This registration should be synced with the National Identification Number (NIN).
“It will automatically eliminate underage voters and the possibility of multiple registrations. More importantly, people should be able to do the registration online, on their own, just like most application processes we have today. They should only go to the INEC office for biometric data capture and card collection only.
“The second factor in the electoral process is the delineation of voting constituencies and polling units. This should be population-based. There is also always chaos on Election Day as voters will be running helter-skelter, trying to find their polling units. There should be a system of notification or personal checks to avoid this confusion,” he said.
Aregbesola also advised INEC to train political parties on the precise roles they will play in elections, as well as to ensure the smooth and seamless distribution of electoral materials.