20 June 2018

Nigeria Alleges Foreigners' Plot to Vote in 2019

Photo: BusinessDay/Twitter
Nigeria's 2019 presidential election.

Abuja — Nigeria has warned foreign nationals from fraudulently registering to vote in the West African country's elections in 2019.

The warning comes after the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) disclosed receiving reports alleging possible registration of foreigners ahead of the polls.

It is reported the culprits are evading detection by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Muhammad Babandede, the NIS Comptroller General, said the organisation was deploying personnel to monitor political process with a view to ensuring that no migrant gets involved in our politics.

"It is important to state that as parts of its statutory roles of control of migrants in Nigeria, the NIS ensures that no foreigner participate in our electoral process," Babandede said.

"It is also customary with the NIS to embark on sensitisation campaigns to bar non-Nigerians from participating in such exercise," he added.

Babandede said NIS maintained a good working relationship with INEC and all data capturing agencies for the purpose of ensuring that foreign nationals were not enrolled in the nation's database.

Members of the public have been advised to notify NIS of any foreign nationals suspected of registering.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous country with over 190 million people (an estimated 2 million are foreigners), is set to hold elections next February.

The elections in Africa's biggest economy are set to be a two-horse race between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of President Muhammadu Buhari and the People's Democratic Party (PDP).

Buhari has declared he would run for a second term despite ill-health.

In 2015, the former military dictator became the first opposition candidate to win a presidential election in Nigeria after defeating incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan, by more than 2,5 million votes.

APC won on a campaign premised on eliminating corruption and the Boko Haram insurgency.

It has met mixed fortunes on both.


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