The ongoing nationwide voters’ registration exercise is being hampered by certain factors despite a carefully mapped out plan for its success by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
A consortium of civil society organizations (CSOs), under the auspices of Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG), raised the alarm yesterday listing the hindrances to include slow direct data capture machines (DDCMs); power, geographical composition of the centres as well as security.
The Executive Director, Dr. Chima Amadi, in a statement in Abuja, urged INEC to immediately commence arrangements to reorganise, decentralise and make the exercise flexible, less cumbersome and accessible to qualified citizens, just as he called for better funding of the commission.
He noted that since voter education was key to the entire electoral process, it, therefore, means that more attention should be focused on the exercise.Amadi sought cooperation from all stakeholders to make the important civic assignment a success.
INEC and the National Orientation Agency (NOA), he stressed, should be made to work with the people and CSOs to drive the process of enlightening the people on the electoral process and the ongoing exercise.
Amadi asked politicians, whom he described as the ultimate beneficiaries, to use their good offices to raise awareness among constituents.The consortium further sought support for the bill to establish the Nigerian Political Debate Commission but was quick to say that it must be guarded against political partisanship.
“In our view, such an institution will not only increase the cost burden on government, but can be politicised. What is the guarantee that the head of the commission who was appointed by a sitting president will not be compromised?” Amadi queried.
While recognising the fact that managing the Nigerian electoral process is a herculean task considering the challenges the electoral umpire is faced with in its daily operations, the group, however, called on all well-meaning citizens to assist the electoral umpire in maintaining the sanctity of the ballot for an enduring democracy in the country.