A cross section of Nigerians have endorsed the position that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), should cancel results of elections in areas that record electoral violence during elections as a way of discouraging politicians from engaging in violence during elections.
When a cross section of the public were asked to vote on whether this should be continued or not in an opinion poll conducted by an online news magazine, ivotes.ng, whose agenda is to ensure free and credible election across the states, participants at the poll mostly drew their conclusion from the outcome of the recently conducted rerun elections, and endorsed the Commission’s proposal. The survey majorly covered those Kogi, Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom.
On a preference of ‘Yes’, ‘No’, and ‘Indifferent’, 57.4 percent of respondents supported the INEC’s view position for cancellation, while 27.6 percent opposed it, with 15 percent voting indifferent.
The common trend for those who supported the proposal was the role of politicians across the various political parties in instigating violence during elections often when there are indications that the outcome of such elections are not turning out in their favour. According to them, this is made possible because violence starts from party primaries with no strict measures from the various political parties to curb it.
They were of the opinion that the citizenry have over the time, erroneously, attributed such failures to the INEC, attaching such to ill readiness and sometimes compromise on the part of agents of the commission. This has over time been overlooked and thus produces unpopular representatives of the people, who do not represent the true will of the people.
While some blamed the commission for shoddy preparation and untidy distribution of electoral materials, inadequate security aiding increased incidents of ballot box snatching and electoral violence in the past, this they noticed is still on and thus the need to cancel such elections is very key and cogent.
Some blamed the INEC for its inability to timely address the shortcomings in the technical challenges militating against the conduct of free and fair elections in the country.
Some of the respondents, who voted No, also expressed their displeasure, over the perceived conspiracy of INEC officials with some politicians, thereby making the electoral process not free, fair and credible in most cases. They also accused INEC of lacking the requisite ability to manage the challenges associated to elections in Nigeria.
For the indifferent respondents, they hinged their decisions on the lack of proper voter education and orientation on the part of the electorate, and general indiscipline and degeneracy in moral standards.
They were of the opinion that irrespective of the performance of the Commission and the decency of the politicians, the ability of the citizenry to take proper charge of the electoral process, will have a larger impact on the credibility of the electoral process.
They therefore suggested adequate citizen enlightenment from INEC and the political parties as a matter of civic responsibility to enhance not only the performance of the Commission, but also the credibility of the electoral process and the advancement of democracy in Nigeria