By Adejumo Enock
The National Assembly has recommended that married underage girls be recognised as eligible voters.
The Cable reported that The Assembly’s joint committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) made this recommendation.
According to the Nigerian constitution, only 18 years old citizens were allowed to vote, contrary to this,the national assembly joint panel made this recommendation to the technical committee which will work on the new electoral act proposed by the federal lawmakers.
The technical committee which is to work on the Electoral Act is made up of lawyers, lawmakers, INEC officials and civil society organisations (CSOs).
The Chairman of the senate committee on INEC,Kabiru Gaya said the recommendation is a unanimous decision by the joint panel while Speaking at the inauguration of the technical committee in Abuja,
Gaya said, “The joint committee has proposed that if a lady who is not up to 18 years is married, she should be considered to be mature enough and be eligible to vote”.
In the same vien, Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, said the issue of voting age is a constitutional matter,
Yakubu added that the law also recognises 18 as marriageable age, adding that INEC would work with the federal lawmakers to amend the country’s electoral act before the first quarter of 2021.
He added that, electronic voting will be backed up by law if the national assembly passes this amendment and the president assents to it.