INEC Engages Whistleblowers To Check Underage Registration

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Ahead of the 2019 general election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has engaged whistle blowers to monitor the activities of underage registration across the country.

Other establishments, including the electoral body, are now adopting the whistle-blowing policy of the federal government, which has recorded significant success in the fight against corruption.

LEADERSHIP gathered that INEC has invited stakeholders to blow the whistle on any suspected case of ineligible voters in the country. The whistle blowing policy, according to the commission, is to rid the voter register of unqualified voters.

INEC spokesman, Mr Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi, said engaging stakeholders to report any shoddy registration process in the country was part of the commission’s process to rid the voter register of unqualified voters, including the underage. He said the recent discovery of unqualified voters in Taraba State was part of the laid process to vet the voter register.

Oyekanmi appealed to all stakeholders, including political parties and the electorates, to promptly inform the commission of any suspected case of unqualified voters.

He said, “If you see anything, say something. We want Nigerians to interrogate the voter register and if they find anything there, they should let us know and we will take action.

“We are just determined to make sure that we clean the register as much as possible. That is why we took the action in Taraba State. We are desirous of a credible voter register because it is crucial for a credible election.”

The Taraba State office of INEC had last Tuesday issued a statement revealing the discovery of ineligible voters in the ongoing continuous voters registration exercise.

It said it had flagged the illegal registration for removal from the voter register, adding that its officials involved in the offence have been queried and referred to security agencies for further investigation and possible prosecution.

LEADERSHIP had earlier reported that the commission has taken steps to delist 299 foreign voters from its register in 26 states of the federation. On a recent video of alleged underage voters in Kano State local government election, Oyekanmi said, “No single name has been added to the voter register in Kano State since 2016.

“We have not issued any new PVC apart from that one used in 2015 general election. We have conducted elections using the same register in several places and there has been no complaint until now.

“Even all the political parties involved in said election were given the voter register to interrogate and scrutinize before the election, but none of them complained to INEC of any suspected underage voter in it.

“And as we approach Osun State governorship election, it also means we are going to print the voter register and give it to them for possible objections”. He called on all citizens to blow the whistle on the ongoing registration, including any compromised by INEC officials. (Leadership )

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