Resident Electoral Commissioner in Akwa Ibom State, Mike Igini has disclosed that politicians may spend money to sabotage the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 on conducting elections using electronic means during the 2023 general election.
Igini expressed worry over voter apathy in Nigeria, attributing it to the inability of political parties and candidates to deliver on their promises.
Igini also blamed political parties and candidates for poor mobilisation during elections.
He stated, “Take for instance the abysmal 39 per cent in the 2011 elections, 30 per cent in 2015 and a downward 28 per cent in the 2019 election, when we have over 84 million registered voters. That is clear evidence of the growing incapacity of political parties and their candidates to mobilise Nigerians around the real issues that will improve their material condition and deliver on them.
“My people, the Urhobo, have a saying that it is what the axe does for the farmer that makes him carry it on his shoulders. At the moment, democracy is only working at the level of the elites, members of their families and friends, and not yet at the level of the ordinary people on the street.
“Hence, we may say that drawing from earlier allusion; Nigerian politicians have failed to allow democracy to give the Nigerian voter the satisfactory utility that an axe gives to the farmer. Indeed, it is the law that those who have attained the age of 18 years and those who have not registered before should take advantage of the ongoing voter registration exercise. But the truth of the matter is that our problem is not about insufficient registered voters, this is evidently not the main problem responsible for voter apathy, but rather the inability of political parties and candidates to deliver on the promises upon which voters draw faith in democracy, that is what is responsible for mass disengagement and apathy of citizens.”