For the second time in less than two weeks, the Electoral Commission (EC) has been forced to admit serious mistakes in its new voters’ register after two of its registration centres saw some 63 persons given a new voters identification cards with the same code numbers.
According to a circular by the EC, the incident which happened at two registration centres in the Okaikwei North District was as a result of a faulty kit that had its unique identity transferred to a backup kit.
“Further investigation revealed that a faulty kit that had its unique identity transferred to a backup kit was inadvertently released to the District Office after it had been repaired without creating a new identity for it. This however resulted in two kits with the same identity issuing the same Voters ID numbers to the applicants,” the EC indicates.
The commission as part of its efforts to correct the anomaly says it will issue the affected persons with new ID cards, in what has already raised suspicions about the speculated manipulation of the new voters register by the EC.
“These persons will be issued with new Voters ID numbers at the completion of the voters’ registration exercise. The affected applicants are unique with unique biodata and biometrics. As such they stand no risk of being disenfranchised on voting day,” the commission said.
Some few days ago, the EC was caught given people ridiculous dates of births on their new voters’ register. A viral social media post showed the date of birth of a young man set in the 1700s.
The EC quickly issued a statement to claim it has corrected that particular mistake, even though several such viral posts have been making the rounds. For instance, another card clearly showing a man, yet his gender was set as female.
These revelations of flaws in the registration process has apparently vindicated strong criticisms against the EC when it controversially, insisted it was going to abandon the existing voters’ register and compile a new one.
Critics felt the process which is barely six months from the general elections was ill-prepared for by the EC. Other more audacious speculations are that the governing party and the EC were deliberately pushing the new register as a plan to rig the general elections.