The Socio-Financial Rights and Accountability Undertaking (SERAP) has urged Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of the Unbiased Nationwide Electoral Fee (INEC) to increase the deadline for voter registration in Nigeria.
This, the electoral fee, stated would “give extra time for eligible Nigerians to train their proper to participation the identical approach the electoral physique has prolonged the deadline for celebration primaries”.
The INEC made a U-turn final week by instantly extending the deadline for the conduct of primaries by political events by six days, from June 3 to June 9. Additionally, the web pre-registration ends by Could 30, 2022, whereas the continued Steady Voter Registration (CVR) ends by June 30, 2022.
Within the letter dated Could 28, 2022, and signed by SERAP’s deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation stated: “Voters are additionally crucial stakeholders within the electoral course of. Treating all eligible Nigerian voters pretty would advance the individuals’s proper to vote and to take part in their very own authorities.
“Extending the voter registration deadline would offer extra time for eligible voters, together with younger individuals, the aged, individuals residing with incapacity, in addition to these resident in states dealing with safety challenges and residing in IDP camps to take part within the 2023 elections.
“Extending the deadline for voter registration could be fully in step with constitutional and worldwide requirements, and the Electoral Act. Any such extension would additionally not affect negatively on the INEC’s election calendar and actions.
“INEC mandates must be exercised in a good, simply and non-discriminatory method. If voting is as essential because the INEC all the time claims it’s, now’s the time to point out that Nigerian voters shall be handled equally and pretty. The way forward for Nigeria’s democracy depends upon it.”
The letter additionally learn partially: “The INEC should not solely be impartial and neutral within the train of its constitutional and statutory duties however should even be seen to be impartial and neutral.
“The general public notion of the independence and impartiality of INEC is crucial for constructing public confidence within the electoral course of, and making certain the credibility and legitimacy of the 2023 elections. The place Nigerians have doubts concerning the independence and impartiality of INEC, they’re extra prone to have much less confidence within the electoral course of thereby undermining democracy.
“Imposing unrealistic voter registration deadline whereas extending the deadline for celebration primaries would deny and abridge the constitutional and worldwide human rights of eligible voters together with equal remedy and equal safety, and non-discrimination.
“We might be grateful if the advisable measures are taken inside 48 hours of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we’ve not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take into account applicable authorized actions to compel INEC to adjust to our request within the public curiosity.
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