Underage Voting: INEC, SIECs To Meet Today

As part of efforts to curb underage voting, the Independent National Electoral Commission will on Wednesday (today), hold a meeting with the 36 States’ Independent Electoral Commissions.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, said, “You are cordially invited to cover the courtesy visit of the Forum of State Independent Electoral Commissions of Nigeria to INEC headquarters on Wednesday, February 21, at 2pm.”

Although Oyekanmi did not state the purpose of the meeting, INEC had last week claimed that elections in which underage voters allegedly participated were not organised by INEC but states’ electoral bodies.

The local government election in Kano State which was won by the All Progressives Congress by a landslide was said to have been marred by underage voting as pictures were circulated on social media showing children between the ages of eight and 15 voting.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had last week announced that the commission would probe underage voting, adding that a committee would be set up to look into the matter and submit a report.

Sources within the commission told one of our correspondents that a committee headed by a national commissioner had been set up to look into the underage voting.

The source said the terms of reference and the method of investigation were still being worked out.

The source revealed that the committee would also investigate why and how underage voters were being added to the register handed to state electoral bodies by INEC.

The senior INEC official said, “The meeting will centre on underage voting and how the names of child voters can be purged from the register.

“We will also be looking at how INEC and SIEC across the states can cooperate and work better together.”

Electoral bodies at state level have been accused of rigging elections for the party in power in most states.