2023: CUPP welcomes INEC reassurance to clean up register

The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has hailed Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) reassurance to clean up register ahead of the 2023 elections.

Recall that CUPP had on Wednesday raised alarm over alleged compromise of the national voters’ register.

Reacting to INEC’s position, the opposition parties, in a statement by its spokesman, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, noted that the commission’s admission to the alleged discrepancies in the voter register and related electoral fraud has further vindicated the opposition parties.

The coalition specifically noted the renewed resolve by the commission to openly prosecute those fingered in the alleged widespread falsification of the voters register.

The opposition further hailed the assurance by INEC to investigate the reported secret move by some undemocratic elements to force the commission to dump the use of the widely accepted Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) machine in the 2023 election.

” And for the avoidance of doubt, the exposed discrepancies by opposition parties in voter register in 22 APC controlled states was not to witch-hunt any person or group of persons, but a patriotic move by CUPP to further alert INEC and indeed Nigerians of desperate plot by some undemocratic forces to compromise 2023 election,” the opposition said.

CUPP said that the assurance by the commission to flush out the fake names and the resolve to prosecute those behind the alleged electoral fraud would further help to douse the tension in some states where this unprecedented manipulations were already uncovered .

CUPP noted with interest the swift response of INEC to an earlier press conference by the opposition during which the coalition raised alarm over alleged high profile plot to compromise the 2023 election.

The coalition commended the bold steps already taken by the commission for instance to delete so far over 3,000 fake names in the Voter register.

“We are happy that the commission admitted some of the discrepancies we had earlier raised in the register but we want to particularly commend the commission for taken the necessary steps to address this monumental electoral fraud which in our mind were perpetuated by those working to compromise the 2023 election.

CUPP said that for the commission to allude to the exposed discrepancies, has further vindicated the opposition parties, which had on Wednesday alerted Nigerians of the plot to rig the 2023 election.

“As opposition parties, we await the final cleaned list by the commission, and this is the only way to douse the tension already generated by this fraud,” CUPP said.

INEC had in the statement signed by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye Esq, had admitted the alleged discrepancies in the Voter register by CUPP and however confirmed that the commission had since commenced the cleaning of the Voter list ahead of the forthcoming general election.

The Commission had said: “It is only after the cleanup and claims and objections have been completed that the final register will be published.

“The Commission will continue to provide the public with updates on the progress of these processes, as we did through our Press Release of 12 September 2022. The ABIS for the period of registration between 15th January and 31st July is being concluded presently, and the outcome in terms of multiple and ineligible records will be made public.

“For instance, in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State, Gov Uzodinma place where the Commission allegedly registered ineligible persons, 3,316 ineligible registrants have so far been invalidated and the process is still ongoing.

“We appeal to the public to await the Commission’s display of the register for claims and objections to raise any concerns that they may have about the registration. We reiterate that our ABIS is robust and will detect practically all the ineligible records

“For the avoidance of doubt, we restate the main components of these activities. First, the Commission is conducting a comprehensive Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) cleanup of the registration data by scrutinising every record.

“Based on the Electoral Act 2022, any record that does not meet all the criteria for inclusion as stipulated in Section 10, including the appearance in person by the registrant at the registration venue with proof of identity, age and nationality and our business rules requirements of adequate number of fingerprints and clear pictures will be invalidated.
“Further, in line with Section 19(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, after the ABIS and clean up, the Commission shall appoint a period of seven days during which the register will be published for scrutiny by the public for objections and complaints.

“Nigerians should be reassured of the Commission’s commitment to the credibility of the electoral process in Nigeria.”