Says violence, hatred, and vandalism won’t solve problems
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
A civil society organization and also an election observer, Yiaga Africa, on Monday asked Nigerians to register with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, before the 2023 generations.
This was stated by Yiaga Africa CEO Samson Itodo in a chat with while speaking about the determination of Americans during the presidential election to change the narrative after the massive Black Lives Matter protest across the country and beyond, that most of the young people left the streets and registered to exercise their right to vote by voting for the candidates of their choice.
According to Itodo, the INEC has indicated that voter registration will begin in the first quarter of 2021, so eligible Nigerians must enter there and register to vote.
He also emphasized the need for Nigerians and the government to begin planning the 2023 general elections to ensure that mechanisms are put in place to protect the sanctity of the vote.
He argued that people’s vote counts because it guarantees them to change through the ballot and that is the way to go to change any government or ruling political party, people feel that they can no longer deliver the good.
He said: “What we’ve seen in the US is that the US people reject some of the not-too-dictatorial, but I would say racial, policies of the Trump administration, and show that democracy works, people’s votes do count and people can get changes through the ballot. I think it’s very important.
“And Nigerians must know that violence is not what is going to solve our leadership problem, hatred among us, vandalism is going to solve our problem, even Boko Haram, whatever they are in, it is not what the you will achieve your goal. .
“I believe that entrenched victory at the polls is a powerful message for Nigerians to learn. That is why it is important, as we plan towards 2023, that the state, the government and the people ensure that mechanisms are put in place to protect the sanctity of voting.
“The second point is and a very deep message is that while the country Nigeria continues to face different disputes and anger and disillusionment from the citizens and everyone in the country is really disenchanted with the leadership status in the country that we can actually redefine our reality by reaching the electoral roll and voting on February 18, 2023.
“If you look at turnout, it’s a strong message to Nigeria that 36%, 20%, or even 32% turnout in our elections is no longer acceptable. The more people abstain from voting in an election, the more we will end up with irresponsible leaders who do not have the necessary capacity and moral capital to provide the kind of leadership that Nigeria needs as a country.
“Nigeria should prepare to vote, but before voting, those who are not on the voter registry should register on the voter registry. Look at what happened in the Black Lives Matter Movement and how they translated that power, those kids on the street not only ended up on the streets, they made sure they reached the electoral roll, and that is what we should aim for, indicated the INEC. that voter registration will begin the first quarter of next year, eligible Nigerians must enter, register and vote. “
He also acknowledged that this task of registering Nigerians in the voter registry before 2023 is a burden for the INEC, as there would be any excuse that the machines are not working and making people wait incessantly.
“It also burdens INEC the fact that INEC can no longer register voters as usual, where people will show up and the data capture machines no longer work or where people will take five days to register before voting. , which will be unacceptable to Nigerians.
“Therefore, INEC must present itself to improve and guarantee that voter registration begins, the process will be fluid and people will not spend less than five minutes and register,” he said.
Regarding political parties in Nigeria that want to take power at any level, he (Itodo) commissioned them to carry out a transparent candidate nomination process that would be acceptable to all party loyalists, as seen by the Democratic Party in the USA elections.
“I believe that the parties must learn from this that the ideology of the party is fundamental to drive any political party that is interested in using political power to achieve a common goal. You can see how the Democratic Party conducted a transparent candidate nomination process.
What can we learn from that? We need virile parties, rooted in partisan and democratic ideology, and I want the political class to understand clearly that Nigerians will kick you out in 2023 if you don’t structure your party in a way that casts candidates who are popular, right? content and ability, rest assured Nigerians will kick you out.
On institutions and the role they play in a democracy, he said: “When you have weak institutions, don’t expect democracy to flourish. Democracy gives you the opportunity to strengthen your institutions. It is clear that although Trump does not accept the results of the elections, he has gone to the Supreme Court; they did not take up arms against the state, the people who are in the streets rejoice.
“So our security agencies are their allegiance to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not to the president. It is disappointing that a few weeks ago the police and the army declared their loyalty to the President and not to the Constitution and that is an aberration to the fidelity of the Constitution, and that the Constitution is a sacred document and created these institutions. So their loyalty must be to the constitution and not to any individual ”, he emphasized.