2019: INEC Depriving Nigerians Of Voters’ Registration – Ogunade
Renowned human rights activist, Wale Ogunade has lampooned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and all the registered political parties in the country for all the challenges bedeviling the ongoing voters registration exercise.
Ogunade, who is the Convener of the Voters Awareness Initiative, decried the insufficient registration machines, registration centers and INEC staff to attend to eligible voters, who have been trooping out to register.
He noted that while the turnout by eligible voters has been very encouraging, INEC officials were not on ground in most centers visited by members of his team.
Ogunade disclosed this when he appeared as a guest on Bounce News political show, “Road to 2019."
He warned that if nothing is done urgently to address these lapses, it could lead to a lower turnout of voters during the 2019 general elections.
“So you will have a situation where you have a government that does not command the support of the majority.
“This would then lead to issues of legitimacy. People will say, this is not my government.”
"If the government does not have the majority support, the people would have no confidence in the government, he said, adding that the attitude of not caring and the lack of confidence would lead to a breakdown in the system.
He urged political parties to do more to educate Nigerians on the need to come out and register, instead of focusing solely on how to win elections.
On youth participation in politics, Ogunade said if the younger generation don't care about what was happening, the older generation would continue to make decisions for them.
"Young people need to wake up. Whether they like it or not, they need to get involved in democracy.
"Otherwise, we will be in a situation where the government does as it likes and does not care. We will go back to a place of no checks and balances."
He, however, enjoined youths not to expect that from the day they start participating in politics they would become the President of Nigeria.
He said such thinking is not realistic and cannot happen; he advised them to start at the ward level and move up the ranks.
On The Controversial Election Timetable
Oguade, who was one of those who took the fight against the re-ordering of the election sequence, said the National Assembly has no right to dictate to INEC.
“They have no right to dictate for INEC the sequence of elections. The constitution does not give them the power to fix dates for elections.
“The provisions in various sections of the constitution give INEC the power to organise and undertake elections.
“What they did was illegal and unconstitutional. Once any provision of the electoral act conflicts with the Constitution, that provision should be null and void.”
He said he was approached by highly placed politicians and warned to stop the fight against the re-ordering of the elections.
He stated that he stood his ground in order to preserve the country’s democracy.
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