Don’t blame us, INEC says on Kano’s underage voters

Underage voters used to illustrate the story. [Photo credit: Post-Nigeria]

The Independent National Electoral Commission has sought to allay public worries over the credibility of Nigeria’s future elections after pictures of underage voters emerged from last Saturday’s local polls in Kano State.

Observers, including the Centre for Information Technology And Development, CITAD, and Action Aid International Nigeria, said they witnessed voting by underage citizens during the elections.

Then, still and motion pictures of underage citizens taking part in the electoral process allegedly during the polls in Kano have been circulating on the social media since Saturday, fueling wild concerns such irregularities could have negative implications for the general elections, about one year away.

However, in a statement by a spokesperson, Oluwole Uzzi, on Tuesday, INEC said the disturbing pictures did not relate to any election it conducted or had responsibility for, thereby allaying fears over its capacity for credible elections.

INEC is statutorily empowered to conduct all Nigeria’s elections, except the ones to the local government councils conducted by the electoral commissions in each state.

Acknowledging the pictures of the underage voters, the commission stated that “as far as we can ascertain, they (the pictures) relate to a local government election conducted at the weekend (in Kano)”.

“While the Commission remains resolute in our commitment to sanitise the nation’s electoral process and deliver free, fair and credible elections, we cannot be held directly or vicariously liable for a process outside our legal purview,” INEC said.

“Our part, INEC assures the public that we are doing all we can to ensure a credible election.”

However, INEC’s assurance may be doubted if it becomes established that the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission, KANSIEC, used the national commission’s voters’ register and the pictured underage voters were accredited using that.

While Nigeria’s recent elections have earned positive reviews from local and international observers, the local ones organised by the electoral commission in various states remain subject of worries and constitute a downside to the country’s 19-year old democracy.

It is not just that the state electoral commissions are barely independent, it has also been observed that the opposition parties and their candidates for the local council elections have limited chance at an open and fair process.

For instance, in the recent elections in Kano, Kwara, Osun and Benue States the ruling All Progressives Congress, or the Peoples Democratic Party in the case of Ekiti State and Akwa Ibom State, won all the contested seats amid serious allegations of brazen irregularities.

This has prompted the National Assembly to amend the country’s law so that local elections would also be conducted by INEC, thus scrapping state electoral commissions. That amendment is, however, sill in the process of becoming law.

INEC also said it is aware of the challenges people face in trying to get registered at some centres.

To address this problem, the commission said it had taken two steps, including the deployment of more direct data capturing machines for registration and increasing the number of the registration centres to 1,446 nationwide.

“We believe that with the measures taken so far the queues and other identified challenges will soon abate,” the commission said.


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  • KELLOGGS

    “However, in a statement by a spokesperson, Oluwole Uzzi, on Tuesday, INEC said the disturbing pictures did not relate to any election it conducted or had responsibility for, thereby allaying fears over its capacity for credible elections”. – PTng

    Go back and check, The Hausa-Fulani always make the Yorubas their spokesman when they are out to lie or commit evil,

    • Oguntade

      Wake up sleepy head. Is the surname,”Uzzi” a Yoruba name?

      • Opekete

        Thank you. There is something that makes Yoruba culture and names eternally attractive to other ethnic group hence this Oluwole Uzzi. The last time I checked, Uzzi is the name of one of the most deadly guns made in Israel.

        • KELLOGGS

          And APC’s Oyegun ends with ‘gun’ such as AK47?

          • Tickle

            Oluwole Uzzi? The name sounds like an “underage name”. Maybe it should be Oluwole M16 or Oluwole 38 Special.

      • KELLOGGS

        If your gun is replaced with the type of gun, your name would be OAK47tade! If you carried AK47 like the herdsmen…

    • AryLoyds

      Haha this is the usual Fulani magic is now coming to light!
      This is just the tip of the ice berg!
      The criminals are known to register even people from chad , including animals such as camels , donkeys and goats!

  • forestgee

    The 1.9 million votes of 2015 is explained! That figure could rise above 3 million in 2019. Nobody is fighting corruption…

    • MP-001* [Joint Chief]

      Thank you. I don’t need to type anymore.

  • Papis Cruz

    No wonder the Kano Governor was promising PMB five million votes come 2019. This is really disturbing and INEC is here telling us that it did not relate to any election it conducted as if it is not their PVC that was used, or are they saying that Kano has its our independent voters register.

  • shalom

    For God sake, When will this govt and its officials be responsible for their failures?

  • Shehu Monguno

    Under aged voters have been with us especially in northern Nigeria almost for ever.

    All my sibling and cousins 13 to 17 years old voted in the 2015 elections. At the last count they are over 43 in number

    • abraham ayinde

      Wonderful!!! How then do we progress?

  • Mr Integrity

    What happened in Kano is people refuse to come out to vote in a just concluded local government election… Because they are agry with the governor as he channel all his resources in fighting his former boss Kwankwaso, the most popular person in Kano now due to his achivements, and no opposition as PDP refuse to participate. So for the governor to defend his un-popularity and cover for the election failures they resort to allowing underage to vote in some places as people didnt show up.

    • Dan Arewa

      Exactly.

  • Abdullah Musa

    Our heartfelt appreciation goes to Ganduje for disgracing us.

  • John

    Is this an excuse? No wonder Kano State Governor boasted about delivering millions of votes for APC come next general election.
    In this case, every Nigerian of whatever age should be allowed to vote.

  • The facts

    Doesn’t this shows us that we cannot have these Governors to be in charge of state police? The people calling for state police should think twice. If local elections can be conducted by Governors in this manner definitely it will be worse if they are in charge of policing.

    • Eze_nsogbu

      Igbo policemen for Igboland. We don’t want Muslim terrorists from other part of the Z00 masquerading as policemen in Igboland…ON STATE POLICE WE STAND!

    • VERITAS_ the rock of ages_

      well said.

  • lekan onatuga

    Wonder why this is just making the news now when it has been the norm in the north

    • Damian

      Rigging takes place all over Nigeria, if this is their style in the north how about we also highlight what happens in the south?

      • abraham ayinde

        Are you not ashame of yourself for justifying this? I have been witnessing elections here in Lagos since Obasanjo supervised local elections in 1976. Toddlers don’t vote here.
        Pls don’t justify nonsense here.

        • Damian

          Oh ye of poor brain matter – English is clearly not your first language…how am i justifying underage voting with my response? It’s the exact opposite I’m saying!
          Half education is so much worse than no education.

      • Jon

        You are implying that same happens in the South. Since you think you know English.

        • Damian

          I’m implying that rigging happens all over Nigeria and that we should tackle it in it’s entirety
          Not leave the log in your own eye and go and be reporting another persons log in their own eye as an eyesore.
          You have no moral standing to excuse rigging in the south or anywhere and be focusing on eradicating it only in the north.

  • Sanmi Falae

    What is the deal here?! This is Democracy Nigerian style or culture. The earlier we introduce our children to the culture, the better! In a sensible society, the police would be investigating this – if only to ensure these children are not being abused. The Blackman has been programmed to self-destruct.

  • Dan Arewa

    Participating in State LG polls under the supervision of State electoral body is a waste of time. Its better I sleep at home.

  • trouble

    This was what happened in kano during the 2015 elections . 2million votes & no one was void in kan state. They where all good & well placed finger prints . Southerns please start registring your children to vote.

    • Dan Arewa

      But you forget that Northerners marry many wives while the Christians marry single wife hence our population. Democracy is a game of numbers. So you can see how GEJ fail his election.

      • Adie

        So because the north marries many wives, it is a permission to engage in underage voting? Sometimes you guys cannot help but prove to the whole world how retarded and depraved you are. It is because of elements like you that, Nigeria is still rated as one of the poorest nation

        • Dan Arewa

          Go and read my post again without hartred. That’s why Nigerians are being stigmatized in foreign land because of people like you with evil minds.

          • Adie

            In trying hard to justify this obnoxious act, you created a scenario that suggested that the northern culture of having so many wives is responsible for election victories while stylishly avoiding the fraudulent underage voting pattern as the real reason.

          • VERITAS_ the rock of ages_

            yeah he dodged that.

          • Dan Arewa

            Am not referring to State run election body. Am referring to INEC control election.
            I have never participated in LG election because it is a waste of time.

          • KELLOGGS

            Here’s a little math for you :

            Dan Arena married 4 wives, and they have 2 children each; Sowere Oyegun married 1 wife who has 9 children; who has more potential under age voters?

            Answer: Dan Arena ofcourse!

          • Dan Arewa

            Sowere Oyegun.
            Because his children that will reach 18 years will be 1 to 2 children.
            For Dan Arewa who have married the same time with Sowere, almost all his children are 18 years.

          • KELLOGGS

            Wrong!!! Because age does not restrict Arewa’s pikins! They vote when they are mere blastocysts! With INEC encouragement.

          • Dan Arewa

            You are running away from the truth.

  • oyoko

    You can see while we think they are almajiris that know nothing, they are more in tuned with what is happening in their environment. Take a step backward and think, our children in the south at that age, what did they know; cartoon network, African moving magic, birthday celebration. They can’t even remember the name of their state Gov. what they know is that mummy/daddy will buy Federal Govt entrance examination form for them, influence their admission, do the same for them to gain admission to the university, after graduation, they fix their employment. They get employed and start committing fraud or get one political appointment and start embezzling. I clap for them for making their children to take responsibility. Do you think it is easy to keep your pvc and queue up to vote. Try it with our children in the South, first they may not even know where they their pvc, they will even refuse to go and queue to vote, Rather, they prefer you leave them to watch their cartoon network.

    • Epsilon_Delta

      Why support crime and criminals? No INEC official will register underaged in the south. After the kids get the cards and cheat with it, has it made them or their lives better in anyway? They’re still cow dungs!!

      • Adie

        No doubt brother! Their lives is even worst.

    • art mon

      So because animal eat faeces, you also want real human beings to also eat faeces? You are mad man!

      • Smart

        No animal eat feaces, except donkeys that is prohibited to be consumed in the north but sell it to you to slaughter as meat, that is why you always shout like donkeys with no brain of wisdom.

        • art mon

          Dog like you eat faeces and that is why you are always here talking rubbish with your 50 naira recharge card, mad dog.

      • Chuma Anierobi

        Is that the meaning you got from his writing.? He is telling the truth.

        • art mon

          Go then and send your kids to Kano to learn stupidity in elections and also graduate with Boko haram certificate, goat head

      • oyoko

        Son of faulty generation, continue with your abuses; you are only fit for Big Brother Show! not this platform.

        • art mon

          You watch Big brothers show and that is why you know about them. May the big boy show swallow you and your family. May your kids run mad watching big boy shows, onye ara.

  • Nnamdi Ugwuadu

    The INEC spokes man should keep his mouth shut. I wonder why people are now crying wolf, wolf when the wolf has been with them for too long. The video clip of under age voters that participated in 2015 presidential election in the Northern Nigeria conducted by INEC went viral in the social media during that election but professor Atahiru Jega and his corrupt gang never refuted it. This case is not peculiar with Kano State alone. It is a celebrated culture in the Northern Nigeria as far as election is concern. INEC officials cannot claim to be ignorant of this particular case. Is it not the same INEC that printed and distributed millions of voters card to the volatile Boko Haram strong holds in the Northern Nigeria whereas the Southern part where there was peace did not even receive half of what Jega gave to his brothers during the 2015 general election. This is the reason why I said that the INEC spokes person should use aradite and seal his mouth.

    The national assembly members that are planing to transfer the power to conduct LGA elections to INEC should understand that Nigeria is not operating a Unitary System of Government. We are struggling to practice true federalism and they are busy planing to set us backward. This is the only country where the illiterates are ruling the literate ones. We have too many academic professors and technocrats yet those who did not even have their primary six certificates are ruling us in various arms of government. How can we then move forward as a country?

  • Frank Bassey

    It is the tradition in Kano. Former Gov. Kwankwaso said it: that they used the Almajiris to vote former President Jonathan out of office. It is an example set by INEC in Kano, so the spokesman should not deceive Nigerians. What happned to the INEC Resident Electoral Commission that was burnt to death with his entire family after the 2015 presidential elections? He was killed, according to reports, because he queried INEC results of that election which he said were false.

  • Chuma Anierobi

    This response is frivolous. This same thing happened in 2015 but because of the serious danger the enemies planned for Nigeria
    PDP let it go. Nigerians must wake up.

  • Debekeme

    Illegality in elections; INEC- Not our responsibility
    Killing everywhere; Police- Not our fault
    Stealing everywhere; Executive Government- Its has reduced
    Terrorism everywhere; Army- They are ‘technically’ defeated

  • Mizch

    No, we blame former President Jonathan. Rubbish!

  • Debekeme

    Go to google. Nigeria is the ONLY country in the world where the blazing hot
    desert is more populated than the forested areas. Nowhere in the world
    does this ever happen except Nigeria.

    Please tell me the name of JUST ONE Northerner who is:
    1/. Fighting against underage voters, Voter fraud and inflation of voting numbers in the North
    2/. Fighting against fraudulent, distorted and inaccurate National Census figures skewed in favor of the Norther
    3/. Fighting to bring to book the perpetrators of killings of innocent Christians and Southerners for flimsy excused in the North

    Until you can show me a group of Northers who are fighting for the 3 listed items above, fighting for a more egalitarian and just Nigeria, DONT tell me the North is ready to live in peace with the South

    All the Northerners who are aware of the 3 injustices above, and are beneficiaries of it; YET SAY AND DO NOTHING, are enemies of a better Nigeria.

    Northern Nigeria WILL NEVER prosper of PROGRESS unless there is JUSTICE and EQUITY all over Nigeria and not a country structured to favor the North. All the Northers know they are cheating the rest of the country. Yet they smile and say ‘ONE NIGERIA’. Wicked!

  • Tunde

    Wow! Brazen Illegality! Shouldn’t the officers be arrested? or is that too much to ask! teaching children how to cheat! what kind of evil mindset is this for goodness sake!

  • Okpewho David

    Idiots!

  • Huh Nwoke

    INEC is trying to hide behind their fingers Who issued PVCs to all those little boys? INEC offials in the South insists on proof of eligibility before registering voters. In the north every time Tom, Dick and Harry goes into the register. We saw underage voters cast votes in 2015 but Kano state government have decided to expand the scope I’m preparation for 2019 polls. INEC knows that AFIS can’t detect the age of voter the voter. INEC must do something about this crude rigging method of the northerners.

  • Ijeuwa

    This is how the state police will work also.
    Ndi ara = mad people!

  • kanen

    Mock 22019 General Election .

  • Adm. Uche UCHENNA

    of course I won’t blame you, I blame lugard and his girlfriend Flora Shaw for thire unholy dysfunctional marriage they duplicitously Created here.

    We are not oblivion of your whimsicalities and capricies.
    Hogwash.

  • Ken Dollas

    Your messageDo you need a rich sugar mummy and daddy
    anywhere in interested call Mr john 09068288090

  • theshepherds shepherds

    There is no way INEC will absolve itself from the irregularities. The children are carrying their INEC registered cards. How did they manage to be registered? It is a shame and shameful for a government that says it is fighting corruption.

  • olowoyojoel

    Dress rehearsal for 2019, mark my words for it.