- A former INEC official,Prof. Lai Olurode, claims he was asked to register underage voters in some region of Nigeria during his service year
- According to him, he was almost assassinated for refusing to allow children vote
- He urged the ruling APC to ensure a free and fair election in 2019
Professor Lai Olurode, the former national commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), revealed how he was almost assassinated when he refused to register underage voters during his years in office.
Olurode, who didn't mention the year in particular, served as the INEC commissioner between the year 2010 and 2015, Punch reports.
During an interview with pressmen, Olurode said the All progressives Congress (APC) owe it to Nigerians to conduct a better elections than the 2015 general elections.
He said: “If the people can be enlightened, underage voting will reduce. There are certain areas of this country where even if they know the person is a kid, they will insist that the child must vote.
“I had to run for my life at one of the election centres in a part of the country because these people said children must vote or there would be no election at all. It is that bad. The APC government has a responsibility to deliver an election that will be better than the 2015 election.
“The Kano state example is a bad signal and a warning that we really have a lot to do and the voter register is key. The register must be clean, it must not have ghost names or underage voters.
“In the course of my service to the nation during the Jega’s era, it was happening in many parts of the country but there are specific geographic locations where it is very common which means the problem can be tackled if responded to promptly by all the stakeholders.
“When you see community leaders coming to meet you with a prepared list of children to be registered and you refuse, you come under threat.
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“In some parts of the country, when you refuse to register a child, they go away but in some other parts, the people are the ones who will demand that the child is registered.”
NAIJ.com previously reported on Friday, February 16, that INEC said it will get to the root of reports of underage voting in Kano state.
The electoral body agreed that it is the responsibility of the registration officers to curb the rate of such voting.
The director of publicity and voter education, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, said lives of some INEC registration officers were being threatened in various communities.
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