In the wake of the just concluded voters’ registration exercise in Ondo State where thousands of eligible voters were deprived of carrying out their legitimate right, Ekimogun Mirror hooked up with the Peoples Democratic Party’s South West Publicity Secretary – Hon. Abiola Makinde who bemoaned the disenfranchisement of many citizens owing to the faulty workings of the Independent National Electoral Commission and feels they could have done better…
Hon. Makinde, what is your take on the just concluded INEC registration exercise?
It’s been outstanding; the turnout has been very good because people have been coming out. Young and old, they are all willing to register and to vote. However, the challenges we are facing are the time frame and registration machines. Many people want to be registered but the machines are not working very well.
As concerns the challenges you have just mentioned, have you thought of the way out of this?
I would love the federal government to extend the process because as you can see the people are ready to register but the system are not working. It’s like going to the bank and meeting the system not working but that does not mean you should not get your money out – and the bankers telling you to come back next year. The federal government should endeavor to register everybody qualified.
They should not say they want to stop because there is no money, doing that would mean others are been disenfranchised. Remember they are tax payers also. The Independent National Electoral Commission can do better because the registration machines are not working while the fingerprinting machine is not effective.
We only have Ondo and Edo States to register voters and one would want to ask where are the machines used during the last election in other parts of the country? They should have moved them to Ondo state and do what they want to do. Giving a large ward just too machines is not just good enough.
You just painted a sad picture and even at this, don’t you feel this would affect a smooth sail election later this year?
With the ways things are going, it is certain that some people will be denied from voting on the Election Day. Some died last year while some turned 18 years. Take a look at the percentage of those who recently turned 18 years and are not registered – that shows that their right will be denied and their votes won’t count.
And they are the same set of people the new generation of leaders would lead . Election could be free and fair but that does not mean it would reflect the mind of the masses. If the citizens are denied to vote now, that shows they would be eligible to vote in 2019.