The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has seized 6,216 voter cards and Nigeria’s national identity cards from foreigners in a clampdown across the country.
The clampdown is one of the steps employed by the NIS to ensure that foreigners are not allowed to vote in the forthcoming election, even as it revealed that plans are underway to close the borders during the elections and to continue to mop up both the voter cards and the national identity cards from non-Nigerians.
Speaking during a one-way retreat organized for all state comptrollers in preparation for the smooth conduct of the general election in Abuja on Wednesday, the Comptroller General of NIS, Isah Idris, also disclosed that the arrested foreigners caught with the two important documents reserved for only Nigerian citizens have been “eased out of the country”.
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He explained that the voter and ID cards were intercepted across 21 states, mostly border states due to the stepping up of surveillance by men and officers of the NIS.
The CG, who also used the occasion to brief the media, noted that non-Nigerians are not permitted to vote hence, the agency is taking necessary measures to ensure the apprehension and easing out of the country of the arrested foreigners to prevent them from having anything to do with the nation’s elections.
He said: “The general election is an opportunity for us to showcase our proficiency in border management and intelligent gathering experiences.
“We are all aware of the importance the federal government attaches to election generally and in particular, this 2023 general election which ends the eight years tenure of the present administration and by extension marks 24 years of uninterrupted return to democracy in our dear country.
“To this end, I also use this opportunity to commend the various command comptrollers who eased out irregular migrants in their commands as a result of various immigration offences.
“This period calls for the highest level of security awareness among all personnel and any acts of compromise shall be treated as sabotage against our national security.”
The CG, who revealed that 3,823 national identity cards and 2,381 voter cards were seized, added that the NIS has reached out to NIMC to expunge the documentation of the imposters in its data bank to prevent their getting another ID and voter cards, as he also stated that the INEC too would be contacted to remove their names from its register.
He said the service has introduced an electric border management surveillance where it uses technology to monitor activities at the borders of the country for efficiency and better protection of the nation’s borders.
Idris, while noting that borders are usually closed during the elections to avoid incursion by foreigners and interruptions meant to destabilize the process, said the same would be done during the next elections on the orders of the president.