INEC Moves to Restore Prisoners’ Voting Rights

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• Says Anambra voter register ready
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it is making efforts to ensure that certain categories of the nation’s prisoners are granted access to vote for persons of their choice during elections.
The commission also said it has prepared adequately for the November 18 governorship election in Anambra State.

Speaking during a dialogue session with members of the civil societies coalition under the auspices of the Situation Room group, the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said as part of new initiatives to improve participation of Nigerians in the  electoral process, the commission is planning to establish polling units at various prison formations.

“We have already engaged the Comptroller of Prisons and we have the statistics of  number of prisoners nationwide and the number of inmates that are not registered. We are considering the possibility of creating polling units at Prisons so as to allow some prisoners to vote. Ghana does it and this also happens in many other countries, “ he said.

On the state of preparedness of INEC for the Anambra election, Yakubu said: “In Anambra we have finished printing the election register, in triplicate, one in colour for the election year, then two copies in black, one of which will be pasted on the walls before the election for verification.”
He also said the commission is making plans on how to recharge the card readers during the Anambra governorship polls by deploying about 326 power generators to various areas in the state.

He also said that there are presently no security threats to the election in Anambra, adding that the commission has received assurances from its inter-agency committee on election security that there is no cause for alarm.

“Our level of confidence is a reflection of our level of preparedness, the preparation we have made for the Anambra governorship election is simply amazing,” he said.
In his remarks, the Convener of the Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room, Mr. Clement Nwakwo, asked INEC to ensure greater improvement in the Anambra governorship election by making sure that the election is conducted in most transparent manner.