Why we register underage voters – INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has revealed why some underage voters are being registered in some parts of the country.

INEC explained that underage voters were registered because the lives of registration officers were been threatened by some members of the community.

Featuring on African Independent Television, on Wednesday, INEC’s Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, said officials out of fear for their lives and threats by community members register underage voters.

The INEC Director noted that the process of registration and voting could never be perfect because its a human endeavour.

Osaze-Uzzi said, “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 dangerous zone.

“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.”

 


 

 

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