Disenfranchisement:- CSO calls on INEC to review voting hours - VybezTV
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Disenfranchisement:- CSO calls on INEC to review voting hours

A civil rights organization under the auspices of Connected Development has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to revise voting hours to prevent more than 30 million registered eligible voters from being disenfranchised in the 2023 elections.

The organization said the call became necessary after its observations of the just-concluded general elections in Kenya.

The Director (Democracy and Governance) in CODE, Emmanuel Njoku, made the recommendation Wednesday at the official launch of its annual report, which details various interventions and efforts to institutionalize accountability and transparency in governance in Nigeria and Africa.

According to him, INEC’s review of election timelines was recommended because otherwise, more than 30 million registered eligible voters could be excluded in the 2023 elections.

He said this is because Kenya uses the same bimodal voter accreditation system and transmits its results electronically just like Nigeria and the process is virtually the same while the only difference is in the numbers.

Njoku said, “In Kenya, there are only 22.1 million voters, and the turnout was 65 percent, or about 14 million votes. In Nigeria, we expect voter turnout to be about 45 percent, or almost 40 million people.

“Kenyan polling stations open as early as 6 a.m. and close at 5 p.m., which is 11 hours for a voter roll of nearly 2.1 million. That means anyone can go to the polls. In Nigeria, on the other hand, polling stations open for only six hours starting at 8:30 a.m. and close at 2:30 p.m., which is just six hours for a voter roll of 95 million people.

“With BVAS, it takes a person mathematically two minutes to get accredited and vote. If it takes a person two minutes to go through the voting process, that means only about 30 people need to vote in an hour.

Ani Nwachukwu, head of research and policy at CODE, said the security situation in the country, especially at the grassroots level, needs to be improved or it will affect the 2023 general elections.

According to him, CODE is conducting a national security monitoring project to analyze security incidents across the federation, and today we present the first edition of the monthly security dossier.

“We found that out of 114 incidents reported in the mainstream media, there were 3,120 casualties, of which 465 were killed,” he said.

“Then 350 people were kidnapped, 120 people suffered injuries of varying degrees, 2,000 people were displaced, 60 percent of all incidents reported in June were attributed to thuggery, as the distribution of attacks between urban and rural areas in the Federation showed that most attacks occurred in rural areas.

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