The chief spokesperson for the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko, on Thursday, led a delegation of supporters on a peaceful protest in Abuja against alleged underage voters and other discrepancies reported in the newly released register of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The demonstration, which started from Unity Fountain to the headquarters of INEC, disrupted traffic on some major roads.
Following the unveiling of the preliminary register of voters on its website ahead of the 2023 general election, INEC had come under heavy criticism over allegations of multiple registrations and discrepancies on the register.
This led to an outcry on social media, especially Twitter, where netizens posted profiles of persons who registered multiple times.
In an effort to douse the growing tension, INEC Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, disclosed that the outrage was unnecessary as the preliminary voter register was released for people to study and raise objections where they discovered anomalies or biodata errors.
He said, “We want people to look at the register and assist the commission to check whether their names have been properly spelt; whether their personal particulars have been properly captured; whether some pictures are not upside down; whether there are still names of deceased persons on the register; whether there are obviously underage persons on the register, so that we can correct them.
“We use our automated biometric identification system to remove multiple and double registrations and then we did what we called manual adjudication to remove obviously underage persons.”
INEC also disclosed on Thursday that it identified 2,780,756 ineligible registrants in Kano State at the end of the automated biometric identification system check.
The figure was disclosed by the new Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kano, Zango Abdu, during a meeting with members of election stakeholders.
Abdu further revealed at the end of the exercise that 12,298,944 Nigerians successfully completed the registration as new voters.
Speaking with our correspondent on Thursday, Tanko said the LP demonstration at INEC head office became inevitable to allay the fear of rigging and imminent vote-buying ahead of the 2023 polls.
“The purpose was to protest the issue of underage voters and multiple registrations as widely reported and demand for the PVCs for those who are yet to be given,” he said.
While dismissing speculations that some demonstrators collapsed due to exhaustion, the LP campaign council spokesman described the outing as a “huge success.”