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PDP, INEC trade blame over alleged underage voting in Kano council poll


Uche Secondus

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kano State has blamed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of complicity in the last local council poll.

The state chairman of the PDP, Senator Mas’ud Doguwa, alleged that the election was characterised by large-scale underage voting.

He added that the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission (KANSIEC) perpetuated the voting in connivance with the INEC.

Speaking at the weekend, Doguwa said there was no election in the state, and described the activities as day light fraud.

He stressed that the robbery couldn’t have been possible without the consolidation by INEC, whose voters’ register KANSIEC used in the election.

Reacting, INEC’s spokesperson in Kano, Garba Abdullahi, denied the PDP’s allegation against the commission.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday on telephone, Garba maintained that INEC’s engagement in the whole process was as clearly spell out in the Electoral Act.

According to him: “The case has already attracted the attention of INEC, and the Chairman, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, has set up an investigative committee to look into the matter.

“That is what I can say concerning the underage voting. But on the issue of collaboration with KANSIEC, let me say clearly that we don’t have anything to do with KANSIEC, outside giving them the voters’ registration and that is provided for in the Electoral Act.”

The INEC Chairman had constituted the panel, following a video footage on the social media showing children voting in the election.

On the PDP’s boycott of the election, he said: “We are in the court to challenge the election, and that was the reason we said the party should not participate in the poll.

“The matter was earlier struck out in a Kano High Court, but we were not surprised because it was a state court,” he said.

Meanwhile, KANSIEC yesterday pledged to oblige the INEC investigative panel.

A statement by the commission’s Chairman Prof. Garba Ibrahim Sheka, restated KANSIEC’s earlier position that the election was credible.

According to him: “INEC, being the only statutory body in the country that is saddled with the responsibility to register eligible voters and keep the database of electorate, would be accorded the required support and cooperation.

“KANSIEC is confident that the outcome of the investigation would not only vindicate it, but it would also strengthen the confidence of the public in the state electoral commission to conduct free and fair local government election.

“The election was monitored by election observers and adjudged to be free, fair and peaceful.”

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