Increasing voter apathy in Nigeria
Since 1999 when Nigeria returned to democracy, the sufferings of Nigerians who have been coming out to vote in search of a better life have increased. As such, a great number of citizens have chosen not to exercise their franchise, as it brings no benefit to their lives.
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) reported that during 1999 general election, out of 58 million Nigerians that registered to vote, only 30 million voted. Forty-two out of 61 million registered voters voted in 2003. Only 35 million voted out of 62 million who registered in 2007. Thirty-nine million out of 74 million cast their votes in 2011; 29 million out of 67 million in 2015. Twenty-nine million out of 82 million in 2019 and, sadly, in the recent 2023 presidential election we have witnessed the lowest turnout where by of all the 93.46 million eligible registered voters we have, only 24.97 million came out and cast votes.
Voter apathy is due to lack of effort on the part of our political leaders to improve people’s situation. The best way to lure people back to the polls is to promote people’s welfare. Political campaigns and voter sensitisation are less effective these days. Positive development action from our leaders is what matters.
Zaharaddeen Muhammed, Azare
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