Why We Register Underage Voters – INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has given their reason on why some underage voters are being registered in some parts of the country.
Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, made the revelation on Wednesday during a programme on the African Independent Television titled, ‘Kakaaki.’
According to him when officials refused to register underage persons, they were threatened by members of the community, which led them to eventually do the registrations.
“I agree that it is the responsibility of the registration officer to do that (refuse to register underage persons), but there are times that circumstances are such that where there is present and clear danger that he risks being assaulted or being killed.
I think it will be unreasonable to expect him not to succumb to the pressure. But we encourage them to report immediately they get out of that danger zone.”
He continued saying several parents came with their children claiming that the kids were over 18 before forcing officials to register them.
“Even to the untrained eye, that child doesn’t look more than 15, but in such circumstances, you cannot argue too much with them. The law says the registration officer is entitled to act on some kind of identification or birth certificate or proof of age.
But very often, they are resisted, especially when there are lots of people there. They are challenged in a charged atmosphere and they are there without any protection. Many of them are there in strange communities which they don’t know anything about.
So, there is undue pressure on them to register at this point.”
Osaze-Uzzi, however, made it known that they have mechanisms in play which will see an underage person registered, removed from the register.