By Douglas Okoro
Abakaliki – Mr Emeka Anosike, the Ebonyi Chairman, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), says citizens’ mass participation in the political process will boost to enthronement of credible governance in Nigeria.
Anosike told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview on Tuesday in Abakaliki, that political apathy among eligible electorate was contributing to poor leadership in the country.
According to him, participation by eligible electorate is needed to enthrone credible leadership that would enhance the quality of governance and service delivery by political office holders.
He expressed sadness at the non-commitment of most eligible voters to the political and electoral processes, urging the people to shun apathy and get involved in politics.
“Nigeria has an estimated population of 180 million people, out of which 68.8 million are registered voters.
“Simply put, only 38 per cent of our population registered with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as eligible voters.
“Meanwhile, based on data from National Population Commission and National Bureau for Statistics, Nigeria has over 61 per cent of its population eligible to register as voters.
“Sadly, only 28,587,564 turned out to vote on the day of the general election, which is just 15.9 per cent of our population.
“The implication is that only 15 per cent of voters determined the fate of 85 per cent that refused to register or turn up for elections, “Anosike said.
The activist called on the citizens to change their mindset and participate actively in the political /electoral process as the country moves closer to another general election in 2019.
“We are being presented with another opportunity to make credible choices on who become our leaders as another election approaches and we must catch in on this opportunity and get things right.
“It is the right of every qualified adult citizen to participate in deciding who should lead and we are urging eligible electorate who are yet to obtain their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to go and get registered.
“Those who lost their PVCs, changed their residency or whose PVCs are defaced should go to any INEC office nearest to them to have their PVCs updated.
“We must rise above political apathy and ensure that we participate fully in the processes leading to the actual election in 2019,”he added.
He said that CDHR in Ebonyi had commenced voter awareness campaign to educate, sensitise and mobilise the electorate on how to actively participate in the electoral process. (NAN)