HC Deb 03 November 1954 vol 532 cc50-1W
101. Mr. J. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what arrangements have been made for the delimitation of constituencies and the registration of electors in each of the western, eastern and northern regions of Nigeria; what period has been allowed in each case for the registration of electors and consideration of claims; on what dates polling will take place; and what means have been adopted to publicise these arrangements.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

In all regions, constituencies are formed by sub-dividing the administrative divisions into single-member constituencies, the number of constituencies depending on the population in the division. In a few instances where this method of division is impracticable, it has been necessary to create constituencies with more than one member; in the Northern Region there are five two-member constituencies, and in the Eastern Region nine two-member and three three-member constituencies. The federal territory of Lagos is divided into two single-member constituencies, and the Southern Cameroon's into six single-member constituencies.

In every electoral district of the Western Region a preliminary list of electors is published at least 28 days before the election date. Claims must be lodged within seven days of the publication of the preliminary list, and final lists must be published 13 days before polling day. In the Northern Region 14 days are allowed for applications for inclusion in the preliminary list. After the publication of the preliminary list 10 days are allowed for the lodging of claims and objections and seven days for the consideration of such claims.

In the Eastern Region and the Southern Cameroons the periods for applications for inclusion in the preliminary list, and for lodging claims and objections, are fixed by the electoral officers in their discretion; this discretionary power enables the periods to be adjusted to suit the varying conditions of each electoral district. In Lagos claims must be lodged within 14 days of the publication of the preliminary list.

Polling is due to take place throughout the Eastern Region on 10th November and throughout the Western Region on 11th November; these dates were fixed by the Chief Electoral Officers on the direction of the Regional Governors-in-Council. To enable the maximum number of people to vote election day will be a public holiday in these Regions. The election dates for the Northern Region, Lagos and the Southern Cameroons have not yet been fixed, but will probably be in the latter half of December.

The electoral arrangements are laid down in Regulations made by the Governor-General in Council in exercise of the powers conferred on him by the Nigeria (Constitution) Order-in-Council, 1954. The Regulations provide for the appointment of chief electoral officers and electoral officers for each region to supervise the holding of the elections: these are public officers.

The electoral arrangements have been publicised by the Nigerian Broadcasting Service, throughout the local Press (including vernacular news-sheets), and by extensive touring by administrative officers. In each electoral district full use has been made of local government machinery to reach even the most scattered communities.

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