The African Action Congress (AAC) in Lagos State has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to use the postponement of the bye-elections to embark on massive voter education so as to curb apathy.
The state Chairman of AAC, Mr James Adeshina, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos that INEC needed to do more on voter education in order to curb apathy, vote buying and selling in future polls.
He said: “There is the need for INEC to step up voter sensitisation and awareness campaigns to foster a participatory democracy.
“The reality now is that the people are not happy with politicians and they are not happy with any political party.
“They are not even ready to vote in any election because their mindset is that their votes do not count.
“They are also of the opinion that when these politicians get to power, they do not fulfill whatever they promise during their campaigns.
“There is a kind of voter apathy and I think the postponement is good.
“One thing that INEC is not doing now which is expected of them is massive orientation of voters in the media and in the five local governments comprising Lagos East Senatorial District.
“There should be massive awareness and sensitisation of voters to reduce voter apathy. INEC should do more voter education, the commission is not doing enough.
“INEC should do more on educating the people to vote and not to sell their votes”.
Adeshina, who is also the Publicity Secretary, Lagos State Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), decried the abysmal low turnout of voters in recent elections, and urged INEC to engage more with relevant stakeholders.
He said that INEC could partner with IPAC, some relevant agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to reach the people at the grassroots.
“The commission should do this before picking a new date for the elections. If this is not done, there will be low turnout in the elections again,” he added.
NAN recalls that following the violence that trailed #EndSARS nationwide protests, INEC had announced indefinite postponement of the bye-elections in the six senatorial districts and nine state constituencies in some states, including Lagos.
The commission, however, said it would continue to monitor the situation and meet again in two weeks to decide on a feasible date for the elections. (NAN)