Underage Voters: Nigerians Should Help Us Clean Voters’ Register, Says INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called on Nigerians to help the electoral body in cleaning up the voters’ register.


Voters check for their details in a polling unit in Ekiti state on June 18, 2022. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television
In this file photo, voters check for their details in a polling unit in Ekiti state on June 18, 2022. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television
This file photo shows a crowd of voters going through the INEC register to check for their names at one of the polling units of the area council election in Abuja on February 12, 2022. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called on Nigerians to help the electoral body in cleaning up the voters’ register.

INEC’s National Commissioner Festus Okoye made the plea on Monday following reports that some under aged persons were included in the voters’ register ahead of the 2023 general election.

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“We cannot claim in all honesty that the register does not have errors. If the lawmakers believe that a register should not have errors or challenges, they would not have provided in Section 19 Subsection 3 that 1-3 that such a register should be displayed for people to make claims, objections, and also lay complaints,” he said on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday.

“We agree that the register is not perfect and that is why we have these displayed for claims and objections. The lawmakers believe that the Commission can clean up the voters’ register to an extent and we used our automated biometric identification system to remove multiple and double registrants and then we also did what we call manual adjudication to remove obviously underaged persons.

“Obviously, there are under-age persons on the voters’ register and we expect Nigerians to take a look at it – both the ones we displayed at the various registration centres and local government and also the one on the website – and assist the Commission to point out these things so that the Commission can further clean up the register.

“So, all these things people are pointing out is the essence of the display and we want to encourage Nigerians to take a critical look at the register, point out some of these persons who are not eligible to be on it and we would definitely do the needful.”

He, however, admitted that the cleanup of the register is a continuous process, saying some staff of the Commission are “complicit” in the registration of under aged people and other irregularities in the voters’ register.