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LASIEC boss, Philips laments rate of voter apathy during polls

By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos
The Chairman of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), retired Justice Ayotunde Phillips has expressed lamentation on the growing rate of voter apathy in the electoral process across the country.
Speaking during a stakeholders’ forum organised by the commission on “Participatory Democracy: Essential for Sustainable Development”, in Badagry, she advised Nigerians to have a change of attitude and demonstrate active interest in the electoral process, describing the present trend as ‘’unacceptable to the commission’’.
According to her, representatives can only be held accountable if the electorate is active and involved in the electoral process.
Phillips said: “The growing rate of voter apathy in the electoral process across the country is quite alarming and unacceptable to the commission.
“Available records reveal that an insignificant percentage of the people who register for election actually actively participate in the electoral process.
“I must emphasise here that deliberately refusing to participate in the electoral process, either as a candidate seeking political officer or as voter, is ultimately counterproductive.
“We strongly believe that if we genuinely desire the much needed development in our various communities, we cannot afford to sit on the fence in issues affecting the conduct of elections at any level.’’
Phillips said the commission had observed with some discomfort the growing tendency of many of eligible voters in the state to view the electoral process as a matter that did not concern them.
“It must be stressed that as good citizens who we are all expected to be, it is our collective responsibility to demonstrate active interest in the electoral process, not only at the Local Government level, but also at the state and national levels,” she said.
The LASIEC boss urged residents to get their voter cards so as to enable to vote for their leaders.
The Guest Speaker, Mr Adeyinka Adebiyi, also urged people to participate in the political process.
“If you don’t vote and the wrong people are elected into the office, then you shouldn’t complain because you didn’t vote for the person that would impact positively on the lives of the people,” he said.
The council polls in the state are expected later in the year.

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