Recent reports of over alleged registration of under aged voters and subsequent issuance of permanent voters cards, to same by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) took center stage at the National Assembly as the House of Representatives berated the election umpire.
This is as it resolved to investigate the exercise which it said was dangerous to democracy if left unchecked.
The decision sequels the adoption of a motion calling for investigation into the allegation sponsored by Hon. Johnbull Shekarau who lamented the development saying “the incidence will also have adverse effects on the peaceful conduct, credibility of future elections and the legitimacy of elected Leaders”
According to him, the incidence was a national embarrassment given that Section 12(1) of the 2010 Electoral Act, provides that a person shall be qualified to be registered as a voter if such person has attained the age of eighteen and; INEC is empowered to register and issue PVC to such eligible Nigerian.
He expressed more worry over the admittance of the practice by the commissions’ director of publicity and voters education, Osaze Uzzi, that the Under aged voters were registered because the lives of the registration officers were being threatened.
The lawmakers who particularly expressed concern over reports that underaged voters presented themselves at polling units armed with PVCs came out to vote in the recent local government election in Kano state, feared that such development poises to the nation’s democracy, particularly the danger it has on the security of lives of election officials.
In adopting the motion, the House resolved to set up an adhoc committee to investigate the exercise.
Following debate where the lawmakers resolved to mandate an Ad-Hoc committee other than the standing committee on Electoral and Political Party Matters, to investigate the incidence of registration and issuance of permanent voters cards, PVC, to under aged voters by INEC, and report back in five weeks for further action, they expressed concern over incidences of under aged voters who presented themselves at polling units with permanent voters cards to vote in the recently conducted local government election in Kano state.
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