INEC Rejects Mandatory Use Of NIN For Voters’ Registration
The Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, on Thursday said the mandatory use of National Identity Number for the Continuous Voters’ Registration will not be allowed.
While addressing journalists at a press conference, he said birth certificate, national passport and national identity card were some of the documents recognised by the Electoral Act for voters registration.
According to him, National Identity Number (NIN) is just one out of the many options available to Nigerians to verify their age, identify and nationality and cannot be made mandatory.
Yakubu said, “The NIN is not going to be mandatory for the simple reason that we are operating on the basis of the law establishing INEC. Section 10 of the Electoral Act lists the means of identification to be presented by prospective registrants for the purpose of registration.
“These includes, birth certificate, national passport, national identity card, or any other document that will prove the identity, age, and nationality of the applicants. The NIN is only one of the means of identification provided for under section 10 (2) of the Electoral Act.
“We can’t single that out and make it mandatory. All the other requirements are requirements of the law and we must apply the law equally. Yes, if you have your national ID card, you can present it during registration but we will not make it mandatory means of identification for the exercise.”
Yakubu said the registration exercise would be carried out continuously for over a year until the third quarter of 2022.
The commission had earlier in the year announced that the exercise would commence in the first quarter of 2021.
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