Tackling Voter Suppression in Nigeria

By Moshood Isah

Loads of points have been attributed to the growing decline in voter turnout which has continued to decrease the standard of Nigeria’s elections. The 2019 Presidential election witnessed decrease turnout with solely 32p.c of registered voters popping out to vote and the state of affairs was even worse for different state and off-cycle elections. This poses quite a lot of questions across the legitimacy of mandate the place returns are made for polling models the place elections weren’t held thereby undermining the rules of inclusion, free and credible elections.

In this vein, residents’ rights to find out who lead them are instantly or not directly suppressed by both the tedious nature of the method or doubtful nature of the actors. In current instances, voter suppression has develop into a method used to affect the result of an election by discouraging or stopping particular teams of individuals from voting. The November 2019 Bayelsa and Kogi States gubernatorial elections, climaxed the problems of voters’ suppression suffered within the 2019 common elections.

This is under no circumstances a negligible determine since election is strictly a sport of quantity and each digit is essential to measure emergence of political candidates to place of authority. Unfortunately, these proportion merely meant that hundreds of eligible voters have been suppressed and prevented from making choices that have an effect on them. Cancellation of elections is only one out of quite a few methods which residents’ proper to elect their leaders have been suppressed both intentionally or in any other case.

It is certainly profound to know that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Security brokers and Political events are main culprits in the case of voter suppression in Nigeria’s election which implies all key stakeholders have to chart a pathway to tackling voters suppression in Nigeria’s election. During a current dialog hosted by Yiaga Africa on tackling voter suppression in Nigeria’s election, National Commissioner of INEC on Registration and Election Review Committee, Professor Antonia Simbine admitted the challenges of voter suppression saying all stakeholders have to be concerned within the battle towards voter suppression.

No gainsaying that election stakeholders have referred to as on the National Assembly to quick monitor the electoral act which can additional legalise sure provisions to ease the method thereby mitigating voter suppression. Electoral reform supplies a possibility to strengthen election authorized framework to which lack definition of what voter suppression is all about and the implications, which must be captured within the new modification of the electoral act.

Political events have been severely accused for at all times discovering methods to control the method for their very own egocentric curiosity. As a matter of reality, politicians have develop into a risk to Nigeria’s democracy by the use of circumventing measures to stop electoral malfeasance and this goes a good distance in inflicting voter suppression. It is time to place nationwide curiosity first and play by the principles to make sure the residents alone resolve who governs them.

  • Moshood Isah is the Media Officer of Yiaga Africa

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