Tweet Share Pin it +1
Underage voters. Source: Twitter
Olusola Fabiyi and Adelani Adepegba
The Peoples Democratic Party and the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance say they will wait for the outcome of the investigation being carried out by the Independent National Electoral Commission on the registration of underage voters in the country.
PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, said though the party had lost confidence in the commission to conduct free, fair and credible elections in 2019, it would still wait for the report of the investigation. He said the party would not disclose its strategy yet until the commission made the outcome of its investigation public.
Secondus said, “We have said that we have lost confidence in the leadership of the committee. That has yet to change. We will, however, wait for the commission to supply us with the outcome of the investigation it launched into the underage voters’ registration in both Katsina and Kano states.
“Until that is done, we will not say or disclose our next lines of action. The leadership of the country came to power dubiously in 2015; we won’t allow that to happen in 2019.”
On his part, the National Publicity Secretary of APDA, Mr. Tosin Adeyanju, said it would also be better to wait for the outcome of the probe panel. He, however, warned that Nigerians would not accept the result of any dubious election in 2019.
He said, “International community is watching us, so we urge the commission to get things done properly in order to save the country any serious backlash that may come after the conduct of the election.”
Meanwhile, the Southern and Middle Belt Forum has rejected the probe panel set up by INEC to investigate cases of underage voting in Kano State local government elections.
Rising from its meeting, hosted by former Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang, in Abuja on Thursday, the forum noted that the incident of underage voting in Kano had confirmed the reports that children voted in the 2015 general elections.
The South-South delegation was led by Chief Edwin Clark; South-West by Chief Ayo Adebanjo; South-East by Chief Nnia Nwodo and Middle Belt by Dr. Bala Takaya.
Other dignitaries included Chief Olu Falae; Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife; Senator Christy Anyanwu; former Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko and Air Commodore Dan Suleiman (retd.).
The group, in a communiqué read by its spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin, dismissed the excuse by INEC that the children merely voted in a state election. While describing the commission’s explanation as absurd, the group said INEC could not unilaterally investigate the matter, as it demanded that the proposed panel should include all registered political parties, civil society bodies and international bodies that usually monitor elections in Nigeria, to vet all voters’ registers across the country, especially in the areas where children have been voting.