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Underage voting: INEC exonerates Kano, says social media pictures are from Kenya

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says there is no evidence of underage voting in Kano state.

Abubakar Nauche, chairman of the committee set up by the electoral body said this at a press conference on Friday.

Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of INEC, instituted the panel following allegations that minors participated in last month’s local government election in the state.

Shortly after the election which was solely won by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), images of children participating in an election flooded the internet.

But Nahuce said there is no evidence that the pictures were from the Kano exercise, attributing some of them to Kenya.

“From the interaction with civil society organisations and media, no evidence of underage voting has been presented,” he said.

“We have discussed with you media men, but none of you said he saw any underage voter in the line on election day.

“All what we saw were from social media and they are not verifiable… some of them (pictures and videos) are not even from Nigeria, some are from Kenya elections but people are attributing them to Nigeria.”

Checks by TheCable showed that one of the pictures surfaced on the internet on February 11, 2018, a day after the local government poll.

Nahuche said the team would write its report and submit to INEC headquarters for further action.
Mohammed Garba, commissioner of information, had said the images were taken during the 2015 general election.

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Politics

‘No perfect election in the world’ — EU speaks on Osun poll

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Ketil Karlsen, head of the European Union delegation to Nigeria, says the union is keeping its eyes on vote-buying in the Osun state governorship election.

At a press conference in Osogbo on Friday, Karlsen said though no perfect election in the world, vote-buying is as fraudulent as rigging.

Flanked by his counterparts from the United States embassy in Abuja and the United Kingdom, he said the EU wants to see free fair and credible election on Saturday.

Ketil added that the union wants to see the participation of people with disability in the election.

“We are not here to promote any party or candidate. We are here to promote democracy which is the only way to promote stability in Nigeria. What we expect to see here is free, fair and peaceful election,” he said.

“INEC is doing an impressive piece of work. It doesn’t mean everything is perfect. There is no perfect election in the world, but we are here to commend them. We want to keep our eyes on core issues like vote-buying as it was in Ekiti. Vote-buying is as fraudulent as rigging. We hope INEC would curb it.

“Then, the privacy of voters. There should be access to voting by people with disabilities. We want to see the political participation of vulnerable groups. Since 1999, we have spent about one hundred million euros on the electoral process in Nigeria.”

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PDP: Nine APC governors currently in Osun to rig Saturday’s election

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says nine All Progressives Congress (APC) governors have invaded Osun state to rig Saturday’s governorship election in favor of the APC.

Ayo Fadaka, south west zonal publicity secretary of the party, said this in a statement on Friday.

He accused the governors of causing disquiet in the state, saying this development is capable of leading to unforeseen developments.

“We wish to bring to the notice of Nigerians that Osun State has again been invaded by nine APC governors who continue to remain the arrow head and catalyst of its rigging machines across the nation,” the statement read.

“They brought into Osun State public funds meant for the development of their individual States to come and buy votes again as done recently in Ekiti State, accompanying them are thugs whose only mission is to cause mayhem in the State during the elections.

“These Governors are led by Alhaji Ganduje and Mr El’Rufai of Kaduna and there nine of them presently on ground. It is sad that the APC continues to pride itself in this malfeasance of wholesale bribery in spite of its so called battle against corruption.

“We however encourage the people of Osun State to take a hard stance against these Governors who have abandoned their duty post with a view to corrupting them.”

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Ambode visits Buhari over ‘plot to stop him in 2019’

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Iyiola Omisore, candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the Osun state governorship election, has accused the All Progressives Congress of planning to use the Osun Youths Empowerment Scheme (OYES) cadets to manipulate the election.

He said this in a press conference in Osogbo, the state capital, on Thursday.

The former deputy governor also alleged that the state government had compromised the management of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to use the cadets instead of youth corps members.

He said his party, Action Democratic party (ADP) and the African Democratic Congress (ADC) have signed a protocol to ensure diligence, credible and fair elections come what may.

“Three of the major political parties in Osun state met in the early hours of this morning after we have weighed all the antics, pranks and rigging tendencies of the APC,” he said.

“We’ve heard that they are going to rig the elections. They are going to arrest political leaders. They are bringing thugs from Lagos state. At their rally, they said they are going to use federal power to force Osun state people. We reviewed this issue and have come to tell the people to be ready to defend their votes. We are going to ensure that we have free, fair and credible elections. We are ready for the elections.

“The three parties have signed to a protocol of diligence to credible and fair elections. Our agents will be vigilant at polling units. The ruling APC has come to the extent that they want to use OYES cadets as presiding officers, instead of corps members. They have been able to manipulate NYSC authorities to use OYES cadets to compromise the election. Our agents will resist such. This government is the most corrupt in Nigeria and lacks fiscal discipline.”

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