Thursday 1 December 2022 \


Voter's registration: INEC denies asking Muslim women to remove Hijab

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos has denied the allegations that some Muslim women were being asked to remove their hijab before they can be captured in the continuous voters registration exercise.

In a statement by its Director Prof. Ishaq Akintola, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) made the allegation, saying, "Thousand of Muslim women from South West may not be able to vote in the 2019" as a result of the development.
INEC in a statement by the state Public Relations Officer, Femi Akinbiyi said the allegation was not true.
"A lot of Muslim women in hijab across the 20 local government areas of Lagos state have been captured, and are still capturing since the commencement of the exercise. The records are there to support our claims", he said.
Akinbiyi explained that the practice by INEC is that its women officials capture biometrics of all women in Hijab in the open, while their faces alone were captured inside a confinement set aside for the purpose "without necessarily exposing their ears or part of their hairs."
"Where we are operating under the canopy, women rappers are being used to screen off the Muslim women from the public view", the statement said, adding that the approach was approved by Muslim coordinators who have been interfacing with the LG electoral officers since the CVR commenced.
The commission said registration in Agege LG where MURIC specifically mentioned has been going on smoothly without any complaint from Muslim women who have visited the centre for registration.
The statement while stressing that religious fanatism has no place in the Lagos office of the commission, it said Muslim brothers and sisters in the office are operating as one family and are also part of registration officers found in all the INEC local government offices in the state.
The commission therefore enjoined the people of Lagos to disregard the said statement.
"The best approach in our thinking to sensitive issue like this is dialogue. The Commission's doors are open for dialogue on this and any other activities of the commission that need further clarification. MURIC a Muslim based faith organization is part of INEC critical stakeholders whose ideas and contributions towards the success of 2019 general are most welcome", the statement added. 
It urged all Muslim women to go out and register at the registration centers close to them, saying the commission is ready as before to respect their religious belief.

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