from OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS, (CAJ News) – VOTER apathy is a major concern as Nigerian parties and candidates begin preparations for general elections in 2023.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and politicians have equally raised qualms following revelations that more than 20 million permanent voters’ cards (PVCs) remained uncollected across the nation.
This is according to a recent report by INEC.
Of these PVCs, 1 million are from the Lagos State, the second most populous in Nigeria, behind Kano.
Felix Daramola, head of electoral operations at the INEC, lamented poor voter turnout by voters during elections.
Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, concurred.
“This situation does not augur well for our progress, our democracy and the development of the state,” Obasa said.
“It may create an opportunity for incompetent persons to be elected as our leaders and representatives and thus overturn our achievements,” he added.
Obasa was speaking at the just-concluded eighth annual Constituency Stakeholders’ Meeting held simultaneously by lawmakers across Lagos.
The meeting was held under the apt theme, “2023 General Elections: The Imperatives of Permanent Voters’ Cards.”
Lagos has 13 325 polling units.
Daramola noted that in Lagos, a total of 640 774 eligible voters had done online registration before it ended on May 30. As of the end of June 27, only 371,760 had completed their online registration.
The number of registered eligible voters is lower than such states as Osun (708 968) and Delta (641 174).
“This is not acceptable with the population and megacity status of Lagos State,” Daramola said.
Lagos also trails in terms of completed registrations.
“We all have a lot of job to do to make sure our people get registered,” Daramola said.
More than 28,6 million voters participated in the last elections in 2019, representing a turnout of 34,75 percent. Apathy has been attributed to inability of parties and candidates to fulfil campaign promises, poor mobilization as well as insecurity.
– CAJ News