The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has rejected claims that underage voters were on the register. It handed over to the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission KANSIEC for last Saturday’s local government poll.
The INEC Director, Voter Education, and Publicity, Nick Dazang, who was interviewed today, noted that the commission does not register underage voters.
He noted that INEC doesn’t register Nigerians below the age of 18 and that the commission never did so in the LGA poll. However, he accepted INEC gave its voter register to Kano State for the conduct of the local government election.
The INEC director further stated that in 2019, INEC conducted elections in Kano State without accounts of underage voting, noting that its register could not have been used in the local government elections in Kano.
In his words: “We have made earlier clarifications in the past that our voter registration does not have anyone below the age of 18, so that is that. I don’t know the voter register they used in Kano. I will have to find out, but the record of voters we have and which state independent electoral commissions use cannot have anyone less than 18 years old.
“Don’t forget that we have not conducted any voter registration since the last election, and it is the same register we used in the 2019 general election that we are still operating because we have not added anyone and before the conduct of the last elections, we returned all uncollected PVCs to the vaults of the CBN across the state.
“And I want you to observe that we conducted elections in Kano in 2019. We conducted Presidential, governorship, state assembly, and federal legislative elections in Kano, and there were no reports of underage voting in 2019.”
Recall that the election, which took place last Saturday, received various criticism of underage voting as several pictures and videos circulated social media revealing children involved in the electoral process.
Nigerians had also frowned at the Kano electoral commission KANSIEC for allowing children to be involved in the exercise, which is against the stipulated law of the federal republic of Nigeria.
Recall also that in 2018, INEC had accused the Kano electoral body of allowing underage persons to vote.