Excerpt of article as reported by BusinessDay:
Strategy and Innovation for Development Initiative (SI4DEV), a non-governmental organisation registered in Nigeria, has identified underage voting as the bane of credible elections in the country.
The group has, therefore, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to investigate the alleged voting by underage persons in the recent Kano State local government elections.
SI4DEV brings together individuals and groups and provides training on practical skills towards achieving democracy and economic prosperity for communities, including the application of research and innovation products.
In a recent position paper on the importance of youth involvement in leadership and political process in Nigeria, the SI4DEV Governance Group reiterated the constitutional provision that limits voting in elections only to Nigerians that have reached the age of 18 years and resident in the country, adding that when numbers and population are illegally boosted by adding underage children to the list, it “creates room for rigging elections in favour of whoever orchestrates the irregular registration”.
“Underage voting reportedly took place during the 2015 elections, most especially in Northern states including Kano, Katsina and Jigawa, and more recently, there have been reports that election monitors, Centre for Information Technology and Development, (CITAD), and Action Aid International Nigeria witnessed voting by underage children during the Kano State local government elections on February 10, 2018.
“While there is no way to determine the severity of this irregularity, it calls into question most elections across the country – both those handled by INEC and the state electoral commissions because all elections purportedly rely on the voter register compiled by INEC,” SI4DEV said.