Thursday, October 29, 2020

Correspondent examines attitude of Nigerians to voting

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Election is won by popular votes and the candidates with highest number of ballots.

However, since the return of the country to democratic order data has shown that the number of voters who decide who wins an election is usually very small.

Orange FM’s Igbekele Ologun who takes a look at the culture of voting reports that Nigerians have different reasons for low turnout during elections.

In Nigeria, elections are held every four years to choose whoever becomes the President, Governors and lawmakers among others and it is the duty of citizens to make it happen

However a careful analysis shows low level of participation

For instance in the 2019 general election, statistics revealed that only 34.75 percent of registered voters participated out of the 84 million registered voters.

In the just concluded Ondo state governorship election, the independent national electoral commission INEC said out of the 1,822.346 registered voters in the state, 1,478,460 eligible voters collected their PVCs but just a little over 500,000 voted.

While announcing the results of the election INEC said the incumbent governor oluwarotimi akeredolu polled 292,830 votes to beat his closest rival pdp candidate eyitayo jegede who scored 195,791 votes while agboola ajayi of the ZLP polled 69,127 votes totaling 557,748 votes in all.

Worried by this statistics
an election monitoring observer YIAGA Africa having been on ground and monitored the governorship election said only 32 percent turned out of the 1,478,460 voters who had collected their PVCs for the election.

Some residents of Akure who have not been participating in previous elections stated that their reasons for not voting in an election to include intimidation of the elite class, violence and the fears that their votes wouldn’t count at the end of the election.

Other residents who voted during the election said if the electorate refuse to turn out they have no moral justification to question misgovernance by any administration in power.

Speaking on some of the factors listed by residents responsible for the low turnout of voters during election, the media officer Yiaga Africa moshood Isah said residents can hold their leaders accountable through the ballots stressing that there is need for re-orientation of the people.

The Acting State Director National Orientation Agency, Mrs Olawunmi Famuyiwa said the agency had organized several sensitization programmes geared towards bringing more people into the voting net of the state stressing that NOA would not relent in its enlightenment towards getting citizens involved in issues of public interest.

The ondo state police command through its image maker Tee Leo Ikoro said those attributing lack of voter turn out to the anticipated violence on the day of election said the police would always do everything possible to provide security during election.

Reiterating their resolve to continually speak to their followers to actively participate in the voting exercise, the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Ade Adetimehin and the acting state chairman social democratic party oladele ogunbameru listed other factors militating against voter turn out during election.

Others are of the opinion that citizens have a responsibility to decide who leads them through the ballots as failure to do so would equally make it difficult to complain about maladministration