In a bid to uphold the integrity and transparency of Nigeria’s elections, Rauf Aregbesola, the former Interior Minister, has recommended that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) establish a link between voters’ registers and the National Identification Number (NIN) database. Aregbesola believes that this measure would effectively eliminate the issue of underage voting and prevent multiple registrations.
During his presentation on “Towards Free, Fair, and Credible Elections” at the 7th International Conference of the Professional Statisticians Society of Nigeria (PSSN) held at Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Aregbesola emphasized the need for a seamless registration system that would be continuous until a few weeks before the election, allowing sufficient time for compilation and printing of voter cards. He proposed syncing this registration process with the NIN, thereby ensuring accurate identification and reducing the occurrence of ineligible voters.
Furthermore, Aregbesola suggested that individuals should be able to register online, similar to various application processes in today’s digital era. They would only need to visit the INEC office for biometric data capture and card collection. This streamlined approach would enhance convenience and efficiency while minimizing the chances of fraudulent registrations.
Addressing another aspect of the electoral process, Aregbesola stressed the importance of population-based delineation of voting constituencies and polling units. He highlighted the chaotic scenes often witnessed on election day, with voters scrambling to find their designated polling units. To alleviate this confusion, Aregbesola proposed the implementation of a notification system or personal checks to guide voters accurately.
In addition to these recommendations, the former governor of Osun advised INEC to provide comprehensive training for political parties on their specific roles during elections. He also emphasized the importance of ensuring a smooth and seamless distribution of electoral materials to avoid delays or logistical challenges.
Aregbesola’s insightful suggestions aim to enhance the electoral process in Nigeria, promoting fairness, credibility, and inclusivity. Implementing these measures would be a significant step towards achieving transparent and trustworthy elections in the country.