Underage Voting: PDP Accuses INEC Of Deceit, Threatening Democracy


BY SEGUN ADEBAYO, ABUJA – Nigeria’s main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described as a despicable act of cowardice and threat to the nation’s democracy recent declaration by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that there are no underage voters in Kano State

According to the PDP, comments by the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu only smacks of evident compromise and deceit by the nation’s electoral umpire.

The Party said by allowing the “All Progressive Congress (APC)-led Federal Government to push him to make such false declaration, despite manifest documentary evidence in the public domain and even by INEC officials, Prof Yakubu has cast a huge doubt on the sincerity of INEC to conduct fair, free and credible elections, come 2019.”

A statement released on Sunday in Abuja by the Party National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said the Electoral Commission has destroy a huge part of its honour by denying what is obvious to all instead of taking urgent steps to clean up the register and correct all anomalies ahead of 2019 general elections.

Accusing the INEC Chairman of deliberate falsehood, Ologbondiyan said; “When Prof Yakubu set up his committee of handpicked INEC officials, instead of deploying stakeholders, comprising political parties and credible NGOs, the PDP immediately alerted of a grand design to use the panel to arrive at predetermined findings and cover the illegality for the APC.  Today, we have been vindicated. 

“We invite Nigerians and the international community to note the sequence of plots by INEC and the APC to hide the existence of underage voters in Kano and Katsina states.

“Nigerians will recall that when the issue first came to the fore, the APC mounted a staunch and unyielding defence for INEC, thus betraying their vested interests in the illegality.”

The The PDP spokesperson said stated that “INEC, on its own part, issued an initial reaction confirming the existence of underage voting in the February 10, 2018 Kano council poll but attempted to shift the blame to the Kano state government which conducted that poll”, adding; “However, when confronted with the fact that it was INEC and not Kano state that registered the minors and issued them with valid voters card, the commission again tried to exonerate itself by claiming that its officials registered the minors following threats by the communities.”

“In the face of these INEC’s embarrassing dances, how then did Prof. Yakubu’s committee arrived at its findings when even officials of INEC, including those who superintended over the registration of the minors, had already declared the reasons behind their action?”, Ologbondiyan queried.

The PDP, which accused the INEC boss of double speak and working against the overall interest of Nigerians, maintained that; “The entire world is shocked at how INEC, under Prof. Yakubu, is caving into pressure by APC to manipulate processes leading to the 2019 general election”, even as it stressed that; “In any case, we hope Prof. Yakubu understands that the APC is only setting him up against Nigerians but we caution that he should not allow himself to be used to throw our nation into chaos and confusion.” 

“He should therefore extricate himself by allowing a credible inquest that will sanitize the register in Kano, Katsina and other states as nothing short of that will be accepted by Nigerians”, the PDP National Publicity Secretary warned

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