The Independent National Electoral Commission has sought to allay public worries over the credibility of Nigeria’s future elections after pictures of underage voters emerged from last Saturday’s local polls in Kano State.
Observers, including the Centre for Information Technology And Development, CITAD, and Action Aid International Nigeria, said they witnessed voting by underage citizens during the elections.
According to Premuim Times, however, in a statement by a spokesperson, Oluwole Uzzi, on Tuesday, INEC said the disturbing pictures did not relate to any election it conducted or had responsibility for, thereby allaying fears over its capacity for credible elections.
INEC is statutorily empowered to conduct all Nigeria’s elections, except the ones to the local government councils conducted by the electoral commissions in each state.
Acknowledging the pictures of the underage voters, the commission stated that
“as far as we can ascertain, they (the pictures) relate to a local government election conducted at the weekend (in Kano)”.
“While the Commission remains resolute in our commitment to sanitise the nation’s electoral process and deliver free, fair and credible elections, we cannot be held directly or vicariously liable for a process outside our legal purview,” INEC said.
“Our our part, INEC assures the public that we are doing all we can to ensure a credible election.”