The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has hinted that the number of registered voters in the country now stood at 74 million and still counting.
Consequently, in its determination to ensure credible elections next year, it has engaged the United Nations (UN) to work out measures that would ensure the success of the 2019 general elections.
Speaking while receiving the UN delegation in Abuja yesterday, Chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmud Yakubu said the UN has over the years been providing needed support to INEC in its bid to improve and sustain the country’s electoral system.
He explained that the UN agencies like the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), have been of immense support to the commission, especially in capacity building.
He noted that the UN delegation’s visit was apt, as it came after the commission has completed and validated its strategic plan of action based on which it has developed the election project plan.
Yakubu expressed gratitude that the mission will also interact with other stakeholders, among them, the national assembly which is responsible for the electoral legal framework and perhaps, the security agencies as well, particularly, the Nigeria police being the lead agency for election security.
Leader of the UN mission, Serge Kubwimana, from the UN electoral assistance division said the team would engage the relevant security agencies on how best to play their role during the elections.
Meanwhile, the electoral body had approved 16 additional centres for registration and polling purposes in Imo State. The areas where the centres would be deployed would soon be made public.
Before now, the commission had about 153 centres in the 27 local councils of the state.
Disclosing this during an interactive session with representatives of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Francis Chukwuemeka Ezeonu, said Yakubu approved the new centres for effective polls next year.