Underage voting: Group accuses political parties of complicity
A coalation of civil society organisations, under the auspices of Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG), has accused the leadership of the political parties of complicity in the alleged underage voting during elections in Nigeria.
Reacting to the massive outcry that greeted the 2018 Kano Local Government election, the group claimed that the response from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from its Freedom of information (FOI) request, revealed that the electoral body has been issuing copies of voters register to the political parties.
Reading a prepared address, the Executive Director of the group, Chima Amadi said: “Issuing voters register to the parties has been done since 2011, and as recently as February 2018. Our FOI request included availing us of the evidence of such presentation of copies to the political parties.
“We are astonished to learn that all opposition parties in Kano State and, indeed, all other states where allegations of underage voters, aliens and other unqualified persons have ever been made, no political party in the country has ever reached out to INEC, with any objection from the copies of the register, which they hold.
“Political parties have a role to play in the duty of INEC to maintain a credible voters’ register, and this informed why the law allows the electoral commission to issue copies of the updated registers to them. Could their silence be that they were also explicating to benefit from the ill?” the group asked, rhetorically.