The chairman, Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission, Mr. Babatunde Osibodu has said voter’s apathy poses a great challenge to Local Government elections.
Osibodu who stated this in Abeokuta, during an interactive session with participants of the Senior Executive Course 44 of the National Institute for policy and strategic studies, kuru, Jos, was however of the opinion that ‘’citizens would only come out to exercise their franchise when they begin to feel the direct impact of the functions and activities of their Local Government chairmen in their areas’’.
Speaking on the theme, “Strengthening Local Government in Nigeria: Challenges, Options and Opportunities, the Chairman noted that out of 1.6million voter’s that registered in the State, only about 372,000, representing about 22.88 percent voted during the 2021 LG Elections.
He said Ogun was among the few States with the highest number of voters as against 15 percent recorded in so many States of the federation, noting that voter’s apathy still remained a threat across the federation, as voters needed to be sensitised more on elections and electioneering process.
Osibodu added that there is a need to embrace digital voting system during elections, as it would help avert rigging, reduce waiting time in counting election results, reduce voter’s errors and alterations of transmitting results, admonishing the youth to shun electoral thuggery and avoid been used by the politicians to snatch ballot boxes.
“Electronic Voting is the way to go, as it will definitely minimise electoral malpractices and it is fast. We believe in it, but it is very expensive and it is a long-time process that requires well experienced ICT personnel and Cyber Security. Only one State, Kaduna, has adopted it so far”, Osibodu said.
Speaking on behalf of other participants, Dr. Deborah Halima and Mr. Ibrahim Tabuwa implored the Electoral Commission to address challenges of voter’s apathy, perception of voters, access of local and international observers to election results, among others.