THE Kogi State Independent Electoral Commission (KOSIEC) has stated why underage registration and voting may continue across the country unabated.
KOSIEC noted that until enough securities are provided for the commission’s registration officers across the country, nothing could be done to arrest the situation as it is an endemic case that would be difficult to overcome.
Andrew Owonipa, KOSIEC chairman stated this on Wednesday (28/02/2018), when he played host to the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) who paid him courtesy visit in Lokoja.
Bishop John Ibenu, the CAN chairman, had called for the sanctity of the electoral process.He said the issue of under aged voting during election would not speak well of the Nigerian democracy.
“In the last two weeks, we have been watching a video of under aged registration and voting. We want you to check mate these things so that they don’t happen again,” the bishop said.
He also raised concern over the non-collection of about 8million Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) in the state.
Responding, Owonipa explained that under aged registration is a very serious challenge, because of the crowd that gather during registration, with very limited security for the protection of the registration officers.
“There is nothing much that a registration officer could do at that point, because he is not having enough protection. Somebody would tell you that this is my son and I know his age. You can’t argue with such person because you do not know the child’s age.”
He said at times, it is not the size of the person that determines the age, as a 19-year person could look like a 10-year old child placing the registration officer in a dilemma, contrary to what people expect of him.