The Governor of Niger State , Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to establish more voters registration points in the state to avoid depriving its citizens of their civic rights.
Governor Sani-Bello made the call when he paid a visit to the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), at the state headquarters of the Independent Electoral Commission in Minna, the state capital, as the electoral body commences the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise in the state.
Governor Sani -Bello who noted that the request for more registration points became necessary because of the state’s wide land mass and the inability of the commission to register all eligible persons during the last exercise.
He argued that the creation of more registration units in the state will pave way for more people to exercise their fundamental right to vote and to perform their civic duties.
“I understand Niger state has only 33 registration points and being the largest state in the country with almost 90,000km². I feel it will be a bit stressful and too challenging because of the size of the state.
” We will need more hands and we don’t mind as a state government, to support INEC to have more registration points in order for our people that were not captured in the past to be registered and this is because of the difficult terrain.”
“Our people will have spent a lot of money on transportation to go and register and as Nigerians we think voting is one of the fundamental human rights and they should be supported so that they can exercise their voting right.
“So I will like to appeal to the Chairman of INEC to reconsider our situation in Niger state and see how they can give us more registration points.”
The Governor then assured the Commission of his administration’s support to ensure it carries out its responsibilities in the state.
In his address, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Professor Samuel Egwu commended Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello for his humility and for respecting the autonomy of the INEC.
He also called on the state government to look into the lingering issue of the land allocatedto the Commission since 2010.