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NAP flays INEC over indifference to void votes

JANUARY 17, 2015 BY Craig Swift

The Chairman of the National Advance Party in the South-West, Mr. Tosin Odeyemi, has criticised the Independent National Electoral Commission for its alleged nonchallant attitude to the huge number of invalid votes always recorded during elections.
Odeyemi, who said this in a telephone interview with our correspondent in Osogbo on Saturday, said this problem would have been addressed if
the electoral commission had been educating the electorate adequately.
The large number of void votes, he said, could rob the nation of having best qualified politicians, occupying various offices. He said, “INEC should do something about the huge number of void votes always recorded
during elections. The commission is not doing enough on this and it is a big problem.
“Nigerians can be robbed of having most popular candidates in offices with this. It is possible for the people to be denied of their choice if the
best candidates have their support among the illiterates, who do not know the right way to thumbprint.”
The NAP chief urged INEC not to fail in the February elections, ruing a scenario where about 20 million registered voters had not collected
their permanent voter cards less than a month to the election date.
Odeyemi asked the electoral body to fashion out a way to ensure that all registered voters collected their PVC, saying failure to do this would disenfranchise many. Speaking on how to curb electoral violence, he
commended the agreement signed between the principals of major political parties to maintain
the peace during electioneering.
He added that security agencies should be at alert and intensify their efforts to prevent violence from breaking out rather than reacting
after its occurrence.
Odeyemi added that the INEC had a role to play in ensuring that the nation did not witness post- electoral violence.
He said, “Nigerians would not engage in post- election violence if the process of elections is transparent. There is less tension if the most popular candidate wins. That is why INEC must
do everything to ensure that the coming elections are free, fair and credible.”

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