Nigeria has re-registered around 10 million voters wrongly struck off the roll a year ago due to technical glitches, leaving Africa’s most populous nation with an electorate of 68.8 million, the electoral commission said on Wednesday. The opposition cried foul when millions of voters were struck out because of biodata collection failures, taking the registered number down from 70.4 million to just 58.9 million. But the commission announced the final tally of permanent voter ID cards during a press conference on Tuesday evening. “Even though their finger prints were not captured the first time, they had an opportunity to come out and re-register,” commission spokesman Kayode Idowu said by telephone. “The final list has captured everyone.”
The cards were introduced by President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to weed out fraudulent practices like multiple voting and ballot box stuffing that have marred past polls.
Ahead of what is expected to be a close contest on Feb. 14 between President Goodluck Jonathan and his leading challenger, former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, officials at the commission are racing to prepare everything in time.