Guber Polls: Underage Voters Won’t Have Their Way In Ekiti – INEC

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By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Rkiti
Ahead of the Ekiti State Governorship election scheduled for July 14,this year,the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ,has assured
that cases of underage voting won’t be allowed during the poll.
The commission clarified that the electoral body has not allowed such tendency during registration exercises that had been carried out  in Ekiti since inception,assuring that such won’t be witnessed in the coming election .
The commission also lamented that about 215,000 Permanent Voter Cards are yet to be claimed by owners few months to election in spite of its sensitization and campaign programmes .
Speaking with newsmen in Ado- Ekiti,the state capital on Monday, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state,Prof. Abdulganiy Raji,who spoke through the commission spokesman,Taiwo Gbadegesin said the body won’t  allow any sharp practice, including underage voting that can vitiate the electoral process during the poll.
Raji’s statement was based on controversies that raged over the just concluded Kano local government elections, where some under aged voters were
allegedly found to have voted.
He said: “From inception, we have not accepted such tendency here in
Ekiti and we won’t tolerate it. Election is a serious matter that  has
to do with people’s sovereignty  that must not be abridged in any
form.
“So, we are assuring you that the Ekiti governorship election will
meet international standard. We will improve on our outstanding past
records to the extent that all the political parties and stakeholders
will have cause to commend us”.
He said the state government has been partnering traditional rulers,
religious organizations, political parties and the media to increase
the political awareness of the electorate in Ekiti.
“We have done a lot of jingles and also working with all our outfits
in the 16 local governments for voter education ,but despite our
people seem to be showing apathy . As we speak now, we have about
215,000 PVCs with us that are yet to be  claimed .
“We are hopeful that   all these will be collected before that
election,because our aim is to ensure that we have high turnout
during that election like we witnessed in July 21, 2014”.
Speaking on the preparedness  of the electoral umpire for the
governorship election, the INEC boss said: “Yes, we are working with
the National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) where we will draw our ad hoc staff from.
“We have started training them and engaging them in election seminars,
so that they can be well educated about the conduct of elections.
“We have started rood training for our staff here in INEC and we are
awaiting instructions from our national headquarters to lift ban on
electioneering campaigns, so that we can increase our work rate here
in our office”,he stated.

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