Obviously not amused by the voters’ apathy that characterised the 2019 general polls across the country, Coalition of democrats for Electoral Reforms (CODER), a group involved in the monitoring of the 2019 General Elections, on Monday advocated for issuance of Voters’ Participation Certificate (VPC) to end the trend in future polls.
The Executive Director, Chair Transition Committee of CODER, Dr. Wunmi Bewaji, stated this at a press briefing in Lagos, describing the level of voter apathy throughout the country in the last election as alarming, “especially in urban centres particularly amongst the elites.”
According to Bewaji, a legal practitioner, records showed that 18 per cent turnout was recorded in Lagos, while it was 56 per cent in Jigawa.
“CODER notes a very high level of voter apathy throughout the country. The data is alarming. Millions of PVCs remain uncollected till date. Data suggests acute apathy especially in urban centres particularly amongst the elites.
“To safeguard our democracy, there is the instant need to explore voters preregistration and incentivization of franchise with the introduction of a Voters Participation Certificate (VPC) with attendant benefits and consequences.
“For example, possession of a valid VPC could be made a criteria for employment/promotion in the civil service, for postgraduate admissions, participation in the NYSC, to obtain drivers licence, international passports, for registration of companies, etc,” he said.
He added that, “CODER observes INEC’s lack of attention to provision of voting access to voters especially the weak. Poor location of polling stations, haphazard placement of voting materials, self- accreditation, etc, all add up to disenfranchise many especially the aged, the sick, disabled and illiterates.’’
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