Nigerians Blast Kano Govt As Pictures Show Underage Voting In Local Govt Election (pics & video)

Kano, INEC and the 2019 Elections, By Jibrin Ibrahim - Premium Times Opinion

Nigerians have taken to social media to lambast the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission for allowing children to vote in the election that took place across the 44 local government areas in the state on Saturday.

Several pictures and videos circulating on social media show children said to be between the ages of nine and 16, being accredited by electoral officials wearing face masks with the KANSIEC logo.

In one of the videos, a young boy who appears to be between the age of 11 and 13, at Gwazaye polling unit, Kumbotso, local government area, is seen fixing his thumbprint against a party logo while other children struggle to receive their ballot papers.

Although, many first doubted if the videos and pictures were recent, they were soon authenticated when officials wearing facemasks in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols were seen.

In the videos trending, some of the children are seen forming queues and mingling in contravention of the COVID-19 protocol. They subsequently affix thumbprints on ballot papers and cast their ballots.

On Twitter, @EduWaltzChuka wrote, “I have watched these videos coming out from Kano and I feel so ashamed for doing the right thing. In 2017 when I was working as an adhoc staff for INEC during voters card enrolment, I personally made sure anybody suspected to be under age 18 never enrolled in Nnokwa.”

Nigerians react as underage children vote in Kano LGA election

@osheguy tweeted, “This is sad and appalling.”

A tweet, Adegoke Victor, who claimed to have served in Borno State in 2007, said he witnessed underage voting in 2007, wrote, “This is not new to me at all, I served with INEC in Maiduguri in 2007, I experienced it first hand and I made an attempt not to register the underage but I was given a stern warning not to try it otherwise I won’t return home alive. I simply backtracked.”

“No nation should accept this,” tweeted influencer, Henry Shield.

The Chairman, KANSIEC, Prof. Garba Sheka, neither responded to a telephone call nor a text message on Saturday.

Local government elections have been known to be fraught with electoral fraud as ruling parties are known to always win by a landslide, a development which has seen many Nigerians call for an amendment to the constitution that would allow the Independent National Electoral Commission conduct local government polls.

FreeDadiyata🔴's tweet - "This is Kano state local government Election  that's currently going on now, today! The voters are under-aged children as  expected, that's the reason @OfficialPDPNig decided not to participate in

Although Nigerian law prohibits persons below the age of 18 from voting, many states have in recent time witnessed child voting even during federal elections.

In 2015, children were also seen voting in Kano State, a development which the Peoples Democratic Party claimed contributed to the victory of All Progressives Congress candidate, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who emerged the winner of the presidential election.

The Senate recently came under fire for attempting to give married underage girls the right to vote.

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