The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disassociated itself from videos and images of underaged voters circulating online.
Specifically, the electoral body linked the pictures and videos to the recently organised local government election by the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission.
A statement on Tuesday in Abuja by Oluwole Osaze Uzzi, INEC Director, Voter Education and Publicity, insisted that the commission ‘cannot be held directly or vicariously liable’ for the exercise which it said is outside its control.
According to him, council elections are exclusively organised by state independent electoral bodies in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
The Commission, he assured, remains resolute in its commitment to sanitize the nation’s electoral process and deliver free, fair and credible elections.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been drawn to videos and pictures purportedly showing some underaged thumb printing ballot papers in a recent election. These images have been circulating online since Saturday.
“The Commission wishes to inform the public that the images do not relate in any way to any election organised, conducted or superintended by INEC. As far as the Commission can ascertain, they relate to a Local Government election conducted at the weekend, and over which we have no legal control or responsibility whatsoever.
“It should be pointed out here that Local Government elections are exclusively the constitutional responsibility of the respective State Electoral Commissions, who are in no way under the control or supervision of INEC. On our part, INEC assures the public that we are doing all we can to ensure a credible election as was once again demonstrated in the Mashi/Dutsi Federal Constituency election in Katsina State on Saturday.
“With regard to the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise, the Commission is not unaware of challenges some citizens have encountered in trying to get registered at some of the centres. Steps have been taken to ameliorate these, including the deployment of additional Direct Data Capture (DDC) machines for registration, with the more populated centres getting priority attention.
“In addition, the number of registration centres have been increased to 1,446 nationwide. While thanking Nigerians for their patience and understanding, we believe that with the measures taken so far, the queues and other identified challenges will soon abate”.