The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the composition of the committee set up to investigate the problem of underage voters in some states by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is not acceptable. The Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, had constituted a committee consisting of eight members to investigate the issue of underage voting after media reports that underage voters were allegedly registered to vote in Kano and Katsina States.
In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, on Sunday, February 25, 2018, the PDP said the committee lacks credibility. His words: “The panel constituted by INEC lacks credibility as it comprises of members of the same indicted INEC.
“They have been detailed to arrive at predetermined findings and recommendations aimed at exonerating the Professor Yakubu-led commission and play down on the electoral implications of the existence of underage voters.
Nigerians have been wondering why INEC is afraid of looking at its register in Katsina State. Is it because Katsina is the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari and a probe is likely to expose cans of worms? Is INEC afraid that a sanitised register would lead to a massive drop in the voting population in the state? Nigerians are also wondering why INEC has vehemently refused to include other stakeholders, including political parties, credible NGOs and Civil Society Organisations in this important assignment to guarantee its credibility.
We hold that by excluding other stakeholders, INEC is definitely not sincere with the sanitisation of INEC voters’ register in Kano, Katsina and other states where, out of intimidation, it is allowing the registration of minors. Professor Yakubu must understand that his allegiance is to Nigeria and not the APC. INEC under him must not lose its credibility or be reduced to an annex of the APC.
“Indeed, Nigerians would not accept anything short of credible, free and fair general elections in 2019.”