The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed concern over decreasing rate of voter turnout in recent elections in the country.
Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, raised the alarm on Tuesday in Abuja at the commission’s consultative meeting with the media.
He said that since 2015 general elections, the country had been recording consistent rate of low turnout of voters in elections, adding that something had to be done to address it.
“In December last year when we conducted the Ifako-Ijaiye Federal Constituency bye-election in Lagos, the turnout was approximately three per cent, precisely 2.9 per cent, of registered voters in the area.
“On Saturday, we conducted another bye-election, very free and fair election in Eti-Osa State Constituency in Lagos.
“We have I83, 000 registered voters; total number of accredited voters was just above 6,000.
“The percentage turnout was 3.42 per cent, which is an improvement on the 2.9 per cent on Ifako-Ijaye, but the turnout was very low.
“Though it rained on the day of election, that cannot be the only explanation as the constituency also includes two highbrow areas of Lekki and Victoria Island,’’ Yakubu said.
He urged stakeholders to sensitise voters on the need to come out and cast their votes on election days.
He said although the commission had the responsibility of voter education, political parties, their candidates, media and civil society organisations had major roles to play in voter mobilisation.
Yakubu added that in spite of effort of the commission to ensure that citizens who turned 18 years were immediately registered, it still faced some challenges in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
According to him, the challenges include inadequate funds, insecurity, inadequate publicity and voter education as well as availability of power.
He said that the commission was aware that some of the designated centres for registration were still far from the people, but stated that it was deploying additional Data Capturing Machines to address the problem.
Yakubu said that the commission was doing its best to address some of the challenges to improve on the electoral process, adding that it would adopt some experience it learnt from processes in other countries to improve on Nigeria’s.
The commission, however, released the summary of ongoing nationwide CVR from April 27 to Sept. 22, 2017.
According to the record, 2,786, 405 voters were registered during the period, with 108,752 PVCs distributed and 106, 936 transfers and 212,117 replacements of defaced PVCs requests received.
The top three states for CVR were Rivers with 151, 398 voters, Lagos, 144, 076 and Delta, 136, 693 voters.
Gombe with 32,684 registered voters, Federal Capital Territory, 31, 811 voters and Ondo with 29, 766 voters were states with lowest registration during the period.
Similarly, Gombe and Taraba recorded the least number of distributed PVCs of 26 and 139, respectively during the period, while Kogi and Lagos had highest distribution of the cards 13, 344 and 13, 068, respectively.
Source: ( PM News )
via: INFORMATION NIGERIA