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Transparency International Blames Desperate Politicians For Underage Voters

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The Head of Transparency International, Nigeria, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, has blamed the registration of underage voters by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on “desperate politicians”.

Rafsanjani, who is also the Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, said he is not surprised by the recent discovery of a large number of underage voters on the INEC register given the desperation of some politicians to undermine the electoral process to their own advantage.

“It didn’t come as any surprise given the desperation of some politicians in this country to do anything possible to undermine the credibility of the 2023 general election and also dash the hope of Nigerians who are yearning for quality change by ensuring that we have a fair, free and credible election in this country.

“So, those set of politicians will connive with people that are working in INEC to undermine even the effort of INEC itself,” Rafsanjani said on Channels Television Sunrise Daily on Friday.

While admitting that some of these disturbing issues are affecting public confidence, he said he is aware that the leadership of INEC is determined to see that the 2023 election is conducted as free, fair, and credible.

He also called for the investigation of earlier allegations by the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) that the INEC register for Imo State is filled with fictitious names.

“You will recall that this same suspicion or this same allegation was raised some months ago by the association of political parties in Nigeria where they alleged in Imo State that some names were imported. The allegation they made that time maybe it was not taken seriously, but if incidents like this are happening, it means that the allegation they made was potential enough to be investigated,” Rafsanjani added.

Earlier, INEC admitted that some of their staff are complicit in the registration of underage voters but appealed to Nigerians to help the Commission purge its register of all irregularities. The electoral umpire said that is the main reason it published and displayed the register.

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