The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appealed to the customs and immigration services to help checkmate influx of foreigners into the country ahead of 2019 elections.
INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos State, Sam Olumekun, made the appeal during an Inter-Agency Consultative Meeting on Election Security in Lagos on Wednesday.
Olumekun said that no credible election could hold without adequate security, saying that security of personnel, materials and voters were key to credible elections.
“There is a need for strong collaboration between immigration and customs departments to deal with the problem of alien voters.
“There is a lot of work to do in this respect as 2019 elections approaches in Lagos because of the borders that we have here,” the INEC boss said.
He stressed the need to mop up foreigners in possession of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in error during the just-concluded Continous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise across the country.
Olumekun said the police was critical in ensuring security during elections, adding that the Nigerian Airforce and Nigerian Navy would assist INEC in accessing difficult terrains in election security.
The INEC commissioner expressed concerned over uncollected PVCs in the state totalling 1.4 million.
“We have a lot of PVCs with us in INEC yet to be collected. We have to focus on this issue in the next phase of our activities to get these cards to their owners. We enjoin all stakeholders to mobilise people for the collection.
Olumekun said that no fewer than 786,839 new registrants were captured during the CVR exercises in the state, which brought the total number of registered voters in the state to 6, 609, 115 voters.
In his remarks, commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Imohimi Edgal, said that heads of various security agencies were meeting regularly to ensure a hitch-free election in 2019.
“We are here to fashion out watertight security ahead of 2019 general elections.
“By the end of this meeting, we will come up with a blueprint which we will follow tenaciously to ensure that the 2019 general elections are free, fair and peaceful with little or no security hitches,” he said.
Imohimi said that security agents had updated its list of flash and hot spots to check violence and would intensify efforts at identifying foreigners in possession of PVCs.