LAGOS – Lagos Mainland Rep-elect Jide Jimoh on Sunday blamed poor political education by INEC for the low turnout of voters in Saturday’s Governorship/House of Assembly elections.
Jimoh told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that INEC’s inadequate time for electioneering also contributed to the voter apathy recorded in the poll.
“It takes two to tango, the electoral officers must also embark on proper enlightenment, political parties must also intensify their enlightenment and campaign.
“Voting is voluntary, you cannot coerce people to go out and vote; someone may have his permanent voter card and decide to keep it at home,’’ he said.
The elected legislator added that: “For the fact that people have not come out to vote is not a crime, we just have to encourage people.’’
He also stressed the need for government to improve much more on the provision of infrastructure and empowerment so that dividends of democracy will ginger and encourage people to vote.
The rep-elect noted that the period of campaign should not be too close, saying that the period for campaign in this country is too short.
“In U.S., you have up to three months for campaign before elections; in Nigeria, it is a few weeks you have left to campaign.’’
He called for the review of the relevant laws, saying that the number of months for campaign should be increased for future elections.
Jimoh, however, commended INEC for improving on its performance in the March 28 elections, noting the conduct of the governorship and state Houses of Assembly election was much better.
“I tell you that there are some improvements which I observed in the conduct of this election, compared with the fortnight’s exercise.
“For instance, the INEC personnel have improved much more on the use and workings of smart card readers,’’ he said.
On the use of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) and card readers, Jimoh said it was a welcome development for this country.
He urged the electoral commission to retain the use of the card readers in future elections and improve on them.
“It has reduced drastically the number of fraudulent activities where in those days you see a local government bring outrageous votes.
“The system ensures that voters must be seen and identified physically which made manipulation of figures difficult.’’
The rep- elect, who attributed his success to God’s work and the love by the people, urged Nigerians to live up to their responsibilities in the governance of the country. (NAN)
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