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INEC rules out underage voting in Ekiti, Osun elections

31 March 2014, 16:04

Lagos - The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Monday said it had trained its personnel on how to prevent underage persons from registration and voting in the Ekiti and Osun polls.

The National Commissioner in charge of South-West, Prof. Lai Olurode, disclosed this in Lagos.

Olurode said even if they (underage) were in possession of voters’ card, they could never be allowed to vote.

The commissioner was reacting to claims by the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), a coalition of civil society organisations.

The group complained that people who are obviously less than 18 years of age were allowed to register in the just concluded Continued Voter Register (CVR).

"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.

According to him, INEC is cleaning up the register to weed out clear cases of underage registrants.

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 adding that there was no way after their training they could not detect under aged persons.

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 was the duty of all stakeholders and not for INEC alone.

The elections in Ekiti and Osun states are slated for June 21 and August 9 respectively.

-  NAN

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