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Friday, 15 February 2019

News Africa: Underage voting and INEC’s response


Underage voting and INEC’s response
Underage voting has been a major issue in Nigeria’s political discourse since the return of democratic government in 1999.
This conundrum which successive governments have not been able to solve has thwarted the beauty of democracy in the country.
Under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, people below the age of 18 are not permitted to vote or participate in elections.
While underage voting is prominent in some regions of the country, it is hardly noticed in some other parts.
When we talk about underage voting in Nigeria, one would easily cast their minds in the Northern region.
Underage voting has become a national challenge and a threat to Nigeria’s nascent democracy. However, the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has not done much to curb this persisting problem.
In 2015, Nigeria recorded the highest number of underage voting especially in Kano and Katsina States where children below the age of 18 were allowed in their numbers to cast their votes freely even in the presence of security agencies.
In some areas, (mostly the villages) INEC officials were threatened either to allow the underage children to cast their votes or (in most cases) be killed.
Recall that INEC had revealed why some underage voters were being registered in some parts of the country.
However, having failed to curtail this method of electoral malpractice in previous elections, INEC has promised to make sure the 2019 general election is not just free but fair to all.
Speaking with DAILY POST staff, the Deputy Director of Publicity Abuja chapter, Aliyu Bello assured that all issues concerning underage voting have been well taken care of ahead of the Saturday’s presidential polls.
According to Bello, “All underage issues have been treated since registration of voters because that was when the age of voter was determined.
“During voters registration, we took note of all issues about age, so we don’t expect any underage person to be part of the registration date.
“Children under the age of eighteen were not registered, let alone having the opportunity to vote, ” he said.
He assured that anyone who comes with another person’s voters’ card will be traced.
“There are lots of features to detect when someone is attempting to use another person’s voters’ card because that is the essence of the card reader, direct accreditation and direct voting.
“If there is no voting by proxy, you don’t expect anyone to vote in someones else’s name.
He, however, admitted that underage voting has been a threat to elections in the past but has been taken care of.
“Yes, it had been a threat in the past, not even recent past. I don’t know when but since we have improved on the problem, I think the matter has been laid to rest,” He assured. Dailypost

Underage voting has been a major issue in Nigeria’s political discourse since the return of democratic government in 1999.
This conundrum which successive governments have not been able to solve has thwarted the beauty of democracy in the country.
Under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, people below the age of 18 are not permitted to vote or participate in elections.
While underage voting is prominent in some regions of the country, it is hardly noticed in some other parts.
When we talk about underage voting in Nigeria, one would easily cast their minds in the Northern region.
Underage voting has become a national challenge and a threat to Nigeria’s nascent democracy. However, the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has not done much to curb this persisting problem.
In 2015, Nigeria recorded the highest number of underage voting especially in Kano and Katsina States where children below the age of 18 were allowed in their numbers to cast their votes freely even in the presence of security agencies.
In some areas, (mostly the villages) INEC officials were threatened either to allow the underage children to cast their votes or (in most cases) be killed.
Recall that INEC had revealed why some underage voters were being registered in some parts of the country.
However, having failed to curtail this method of electoral malpractice in previous elections, INEC has promised to make sure the 2019 general election is not just free but fair to all.
Speaking with DAILY POST staff, the Deputy Director of Publicity Abuja chapter, Aliyu Bello assured that all issues concerning underage voting have been well taken care of ahead of the Saturday’s presidential polls.
According to Bello, “All underage issues have been treated since registration of voters because that was when the age of voter was determined.
“During voters registration, we took note of all issues about age, so we don’t expect any underage person to be part of the registration date.
“Children under the age of eighteen were not registered, let alone having the opportunity to vote, ” he said.
He assured that anyone who comes with another person’s voters’ card will be traced.
“There are lots of features to detect when someone is attempting to use another person’s voters’ card because that is the essence of the card reader, direct accreditation and direct voting.
“If there is no voting by proxy, you don’t expect anyone to vote in someones else’s name.
He, however, admitted that underage voting has been a threat to elections in the past but has been taken care of.
“Yes, it had been a threat in the past, not even recent past. I don’t know when but since we have improved on the problem, I think the matter has been laid to rest,” He assured. Dailypost

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