In the last election the cases of child voting was rampant with pictures backing it up. These pictures of children being registered by INEC officials and later being allowed to vote are all over the internet for everyone to see. One thought with the amount of evidence on this issue, the new INEC under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration will be taking up this case and ensuring that parents are warned over allowing their underaged children to be used by politicians and political parties into going to register in the ongoing “continuous registration” exercise.
In fact the first thing I expected the new INEC to do is to warn the under-aged who were registered earlier to stay away from all forms of voting or risk arrest. Secondly, to warn their officials not to register under-aged and make arrangement for police to make arrest to deter under-aged voting.
I haven’t heard anything about this, not even voters education on this matter. It is simply as if this doesn’t exist. The political parties, old and new, have not even brought this up. This is simply business as usual.
In some places foreigners are even encouraged to register and later vote. INEC have simply not been seriously addressing this. There has not been vigorous campaign both on television and radio and online by INEC to inform and discourage this.
From what is playing out it seems under-aged voting has come to stay. Not even the media takes this seriously and think it is an issue worth discussing.
We all thought this is an issue this administration will tackle among many others in the process to ensuring Nigeria has a free and fair and smooth election in the future being that this administration brand itself as the corruption fighting administration.
From the activities of INEC, it clearly shows that the organization’s priority is not change like the government has been preaching. The legal voting age for Nigeria is 18.