By AMARACHKWU OKOROAFOR
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu has declared that 1,040,000 Nigerians have so far been registered since the commencement of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise on April 27, 2017.
Yakubu, who stated this while hosting the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway, Mr. Jens-Petter Kjemprud at the electoral commission headquarters Abuja, added that the INEC has always been interested in observing elections in older democracies like Norway in order to learn useful lessons.
Speaking earlier, the Ambassador who commended INEC, and Nigerians for the successful conduct of the 2015 general elections, lauded the Commission for the steps taken so far since then to improve the electoral process.
While he pledged that Norway was prepared to do everything it could to assist the Commission deliver on its mandate, Mr. Kjemprud also invited the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and his team to observe the Norwegian Parliamentary Elections and undertake a Study Tour of his country between September 6 and 13, 2017.
Responding however, Yakubu, while accepting the invitation, informed the Ambassador that the Commission had always been interested in observing elections in older democracies like Norway, in order to learn useful lessons. He stated that the Commission was working towards making the 2019 general elections better than that of 2015.
He said that there were 70 million registered voters currently on the Voter Register, while about 1,040,000 Nigerians had so far registered since the commencement of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise on 27th April, 2017.
He added: “We now have 45 political parties. We used to have 40 political parties, but five have just been registered, while there are 103 pending applications. We don’t know how many more we are going to register, but we are a multi-party democracy and all associations that meet the criteria for registration will be registered. ”
With the INEC chairman to receive the Norwegian envoy were National Commissioners Prof. Okechukwu Ibeanu, Dr Mustapha Lecky, Mallam Mohammed Haruna, Prince Adedeji Soyebi, Dr Adekunle Ogunmola, Engineer Abubakar Nahuche and Mrs Amina Zakari.
Others include Secretary to the Commission, Mrs. Chinwe Ogakwu, Director, Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, Hon Chairman’s aides: Chief Technical Adviser, Prof Bolide Edina, Special Adviser, Prof. Mohammed Kuna and Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi.