The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday said that it registered 68, 833, 476 voters for this year’s general elections.
Similarly, the commission has also cleared 14 presidential candidates for the presidential election, 739 candidates for the Senate while 1780 candidates are for the Federal House of Representatives election.
It also said that schools would be closed few days to the elections to allow those that would be used for the election duties time to do so.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega said this at a news conference that the action was in line with the requirements of the relevant laws which stipulate that the list should be made public 30 days to the polls.
He said the names had been sent to the political parties and published on their website.
Jega, however, added that the names of the candidates cleared for the governorship and state Houses of Assembly would be published by the 27th of January, 2015.
Adding that the Federal Government had released all the fund needed for a successful conduct of the elections, but declined to disclose the exact amount the commission received saying it was a public document which was open for anybody to see.
Throwing more light on the issue of the Permanent Voters Cards, PVC, he said that about 38million cards had been distributed even as he regretted that a lot more were yet to be distributed and urged the people who ere yet to collect their cards to do so before the February 14 election.
�We still have a lot more cards to be collected so I want to appeal to Nigerians to go out there and collect their cards.
I have directed that the time for the distribution be extended. To this effect, the Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, have been directed to ensure that the cards be ready for distribution from 8 am to 5.30 pm Monday to Saturday.
�We have taken delivery of additional cards and hopefully before January 20 we will take delivery of all the cards for onward distribution to voters and I want to plead again that people should go and collect their cards.
�A lot of speculation has been taken that INEC does not have the card readers.
Let me repeat that there would be card readers and as I speak, we have taken delivery of over 130,000 card readers and we have started moving them to the states and by January 24, we will take delivery of the rest” Jega added.
Earlier, the director of Information and Communication Technology, ICT, Mr. Chidi Nwafor had explained the modalities that led to the registration of 68, 833, 476 voters as against the 74, 638, 834 recorded in the 2011 elections saying it was due to the fact that the Register Optimal Process 11 which was used was able to fish out those that engaged in double registration.
Nwafor added that registration took place in 119, 973 registration centres while such necessary information like; bio-data, facial image and record of 10 finger prints were used to authenticate the registrations.
Representatives of 24 political parties were present at the meeting.
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