The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday warned underage voters to stay away from polling units during the general election or risk arrest.
The commission said parents of the ineligible voters will also be arrested for aiding and abetting electoral fraud. INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, sounded this warning while featuring on a Channels Television programme, ‘Sunrise Daily’.
He said: “We have made it very clear that any visibly underage person should not approach any of our polling units on election day.
“If the person does appear, he or she would be arrested, alongside their parents for aiding and abetting such a venture”.
“We have made it very clear that this Commission will deploy the BVAS for voters’ identification and authentication and the data of every registered voter in Nigeria per polling unit is domiciled in the BvAS and not in the PVCs.The only thing the Presiding Officer will do on Election Day is to look at the last six digits of your PVC and use it to bring out your VIN for the purpose of calling up your data from the BVAS.”
“Those buying PVCs and harvesting VINs can only engage in voter oppression.
“They can only prevent the voter from going to the polling unit on Election Day but in terms of carrying the PVC of someone else to give another person for voting, I can assure you that it is next to impossible. Some of the information on social media relating to underage registration was carried out between 2011 and before we went into the 2019 general election.”
“This Commission had the courage to publish the voter register and asked Nigerians to scrutinise the register to make sure that every malicious registration is removed.”
“We assure Nigerians that the voters register that will be used in the 2023 election is the one that they will be proud of.”