Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow seven million Nigerians to complete their voter registration.
SERAP made the call in a statement on Sunday by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, warning that failure of the electoral body would attract legal action. According to the rights group, INEC recently disclosed that out of 10,487,972 Nigerians who carried out their pre-registration online, only 3,444,378 completed the process at a physical center.
SERAP believes that the right to vote is also the right to be given the time and opportunity to complete the registration process so that it can be effectively exercised. “The right to vote is not merely the right to cast a ballot but also the right to be given the time and opportunity to complete the registration process, so that the right can be meaningfully and effectively exercised,” the statement read.
“Closing the gates on eligible Nigerians and denying them the time and opportunity to complete their registration cannot preserve trust in the electoral process. “Denying a significant number of eligible voters the time and opportunity to complete the registration for their PVCs would impair the right to vote of those affected, deny them a voice in the 2023 elections, and lead to disparate and unfair treatment of these voters.”