INEC says it is cleaning up the register to weed out clear cases of underage registrants.
A coalition of election monitoring civil society, Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, has complained that people obviously less than 18 years of age were allowed to register in the just concluded Continuous Voter Registration , CVR, that held in Osun and Ekiti states.
Electoral observers have in the past lamented the various incidence of underage voting. PREMIUM TIMES had also shown pictorial evidences of under-age voting in the just concluded local government elections held in Plateau State.
The TMG, however, says it has engineered a way to discourage this after witnessing underage voter registration.
“We have factored a way into our training so that they (underage) will be denied access to exercise franchise even if they are in possession of voter cards.
“And we have increased the tempo of voter education clubs in schools, through electronic and print media campaigns,” he said.
Reacting to the TMG observations, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Monday said it had trained its personnel on prevention of underage voting in the Ekiti and Osun polls.
The National Commissioner in charge of South-West, Lai Olurode, said this at an interview in Lagos.
Mr. Olurode said even if persons underage are in possession of voters’ card, they could never be allowed to vote.
He said INEC is cleaning up the register to weed out clear cases of underage registrants.
Mr. Olurode explained that the CVR which was held from March 12 to March 19 for the two states enabled the commission to accommodate all complaints before the governorship elections.
He said that Registration Area Officers, RAOs, were used for the registration at ward levels. He added that the CVR would go a long way to correct some of the mistakes in terms of biometrics in the previous registration.
He said that law enforcement agents were also being sensitised to effectively perform their duties and ensure a hitch free polls.
The commissioner, however, said prevention of electoral offences is the duty of all stakeholders and not for INEC alone.
He said, “elections are for the good of all and they are about partnership and vigilance on the part of all”.
The elections in Ekiti and Osun states are slated for June 21 and August 9 respectively.
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