ABEOKUTA – Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said on Saturday that Nigeria’s democratic process was fast maturing.
Obasanjo made the assertion shortly after his accreditation at Ward 11, Unit 22 at Olusomi Compound, Sokori area of Abeokuta South Local Government Area.
He said that although there was a drop in the turnout of voters compared with the presidential and National Assembly polls, the accreditation exercise could still be described as successful.
“Reports getting to me indicate a general low turnout across the nation; however, the exercise has been orderly and peaceful.
“The low turnout is not unusual and should be expected, because people normally show more interest in national elections than the state elections.
“I, however, commend INEC for improving on their last performance because many people who did not have PVCs in this area have now gotten their cards.
“There were apprehensions concerning the polls because of some people beating drums of war; but we thank God for taking control,” he said.
The former president, however, praised Nigerians, saying they should be proud of their electoral performance.
“We have done it for West Africa; we have done it for Africa and we have now done it for ourselves.
“Nigerians can now raise their heads in honour anywhere because there are evidences that our democracy is fast maturing,” he said.
Meanwhile, In Ekiti, Gov. Ayodele Fayose, got accredited at noon after several failed attempts to use the card reader.
The governor, who performed the exercise at the Afao Ward, Polling Unit 001 in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area, later filled the incident form before being accredited.
In an interview with journalists, Fayose urged INEC to improve on the use of the card reader, just as he decried the low turnout of voters.
The governor, who was accompanied to the accreditation centre by his cousin, Mr Adebayo Adeniyi, however, expressed the hope that more voters would turn out before the end of the exercise.
Also, a former Minister of Sports, Mr Bolaji Abdullahi, has described the 2015 general elections as the best of its kind.
Abdullahi made the assertion at his residence at Anifowose area in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin on Saturday.
“The 2015 elections have been unprecedented. The Independent National Electoral Commission has put in the best performance ever in the conduct of elections exercise in this country.”
He lauded the initiative of the use of the card reader introduced by INEC, describing it as a step forward in Nigeria’s history.
Abdullahi commended the peaceful conduct of the electorate and the security personnel, saying it showed an improvement in the country’s democratic culture.
The former minister urged Nigerians to unite and support the President-elect, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) to move the country forward.
According to him, irrespective of party, religious and ethnic differences, citizens must work for unity and live exemplary lives.
Abdullahi said that the 2015 elections had taught Nigerians to have confidence in the power of their thumb and also for politicians to respect the electorate.
“I believe that Nigeria will be better and greater than ever,” he said. (NAN)
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