Yinka Odumakin

The pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere on Wednesday accused President Muhammadu Buhari of encouraging under-age voting by declining to sign the Electoral Act into law.

The National Publicity Secretary of the Organization, Yinka Odumakin who stated this while briefing journalists alleged that Buhari, having been a major beneficiary of underage voting in 2015 wanted a repeat in the forthcoming general elections.

The Afenifere noted that the only way the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) can prevent the incidence of under-age voting in the 2019 general elections was to insist on the use of card reader for all registered voters.

The group further pointed out that according to records obtained from INEC, 13.5 million Nigerians voted manually without biometric accreditation in the 2015 presidential election.

The data showed that President Buhari, who was then the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) won in nine out of the 10 states manual voting was used.

“In spite of the refusal of the president to sign the Electoral Act, INEC must insist on the use of card reader. Every voter must go through card reader.

“Remember that we had a lot of under-age voting in 2015. That was possible because 13.5 million voters voted manually without card readers. 45 percent of these ones are in the areas where President Buhari won election.

“That is why they want to enjoy it again this time around by not signing the Electoral Act. This election is so important to the future of this country as a stable polity. So, INEC must do everything possible to ensure that such things are prevented.

“Also, the world community like the US, EU, UK and others must beam their searchlight on Nigeria and put their foot down because in their own self-interest, if anything goes wrong in Nigeria, all their countries are in trouble.

“So, it is in the interest of the world community that nothing happens to dislocate the peace of Nigeria,” Odumakin said.

The organization therefore called on the international community and other foreign observers to monitor the election, warning that the whole world would be affected if the election in Nigeria went awry.