‘Underage voting in Kano unsubstantiated’
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmud Yakubu, said yesterday in Abuja that the commission has no principal concern over the allegations of underage voting during the Kano State local government election held on February 10, this year. He stated that the commission has not received a single petition from anyone to that effect since the videos of the allegations went viral on different media platforms shortly after the poll.
The INEC boss, while addressing a press conference at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, yesterday, accused some stakeholders, including a political party, whose name he did not disclose, of taking to the media to criticise and impugn the integrity of the INEC.
He said the commission’s involvement in the controversial Kano State council election was the provision of the voter register to the state electoral commission, as required by law, emphasising that whatever happened therein concerning the polls was not the business of INEC.
He also debunked insinuations in some quarters that the commission plans to create more polling units, saying there was no time for such an exercise, given that the general elections are very close.He regretted that some of the claims being made about the register would create doubts in the mind of some citizens about INEC’s preparations for the forthcoming polls.
The INEC had on February 21, this year, set up an investigation panel into the allegations of underage persons voting during the Kano council election, using INEC register.Following the submission of the report of the panel, headed by one of its national commissioners, Abubakar Nahuche, INEC adopted the panel’s recommendations, some of which are the need for the electoral umpire to work closely with state electoral commissions.
The panel said given that the register was not substantially used to accredit voters before voting, it is logical to conclude that if underage voting occurred in the elections, it was not due to the presence of underage registrants on the register of voters and that the few images and video clips from Kano show no accreditation of voters or any relationship with the register of voters, among others.
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