The Independent National Electoral Commission has asked the National Population Commission for the details of dead persons so that it (INEC) can remove their names from the voter register ahead of the 2019 elections.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the request when he visited the population commission in Abuja on Tuesday.
Yakubu said, “The National Population Commission is the registrar of births and deaths nationwide and INEC is responsible for voter registration as well as the cleaning up of the voter register by removing the names of dead persons from the same register.
“We would like to partner the population commission to make available to INEC all records of deaths of citizens since 2015 so that INEC can take the necessary steps to remove them from the voter register.
“We are confident that you will oblige us so that we can further clean up our voter register ahead of the 2019 general elections.”
When asked if INEC would be seeking the commission’s help in purging the voter register of underage persons, Yakubu said he was not sure if it was the duty of the population commission to do so.
Responding, the NPC Chairman, Mr. Eze Duruiheoma (SAN), said his commission would assist INEC in its task ahead of the 2019 elections.
“On the removal of dead persons from the register, I believe that is a wonderful vision. In the past this was overlooked and it ended up embarrassing everybody. We will attend to that request and give it the needed attention,” Duruiheoma said.
When asked if the commission had the statistics of births and deaths from 2015 till date, the senior advocate admitted that the agency did not have it.
He, however, said the 40 or 50 per cent statistics available would be made available to the electoral body.
Duruiheoma said, “Yes, we don’t pretend to have registered every death. In the same way we don’t pretend to have captured every birth. But there must be a starting point. Assuming in the last one year, we have registered 20,000 deaths. The 20,000 should be expunged from the register as a starting point.
“You must count one before counting two. So, that’s the collaboration between NpopC and INEC. We don’t have 100 per cent coverage on the registration of deaths in the same way we don’t have 100 per cent coverage of births. But at least the 45 or 50 per cent coverage we have is what we can give to INEC because it is what you have that you can give.”