From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
The Kano State Independent Electoral Commission (KANSIEC) has said that it welcomes the decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to probe alleged incident of underage voting during the conduct of the recent local government election conducted in the state.
Purported video footage and images showing underage children casting votes during the February 10 local council polls went rival in the social media, a situation that prompted the National electoral body to launch investigation into the allegations.
In a statement by the chairman of KANSIEC, Professor Garba Ibrahim Sheka, and made available to newsmen in Kano yesterday, the state electoral body said it restated its stance that the election was adjudged to be the most peaceful in the history of the state.
The statement added that, KANSIEC would like to express its willingness to accord full cooperation to the team of investigators to ascertain the veracity of the allegation made in respect of underage voting during the conduct of the election.
The statement reads in part: “The federal electoral empire’s move, which was announced by the its Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu at the election preparation workshop underway at the Intercontinental Hotel, Lagos, was hinged on video footages that went viral on the social media, allegedly showing some voters who were obviously children participating in the local council election, last weekend.
“While we hail the INEC’s decision to investigate the allegation, we want to restate our stand that the election, which was supervised by independent monitors (Civil Society Organisations), is adjudged most peaceful in the history of Kano state.
“As the only statutory body that registers voters and keeps the database of certified Nigerian electorate, we would like to express our willingness to accord full cooperation to the team of investigators to ascertain the veracity of the allegation made in respect of underage voting during the conduct of the election.
“We are also confident that the outcome of the investigation will vindicate us and strengthen the confidence of the public in KANSIEC to conduct free and fair local government election.”