The Chairman, Inter-Parliamentary Committee of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rotimi Abiru, has recommended that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conduct a periodic voter registration exercise to prevent disenfranchisement in the country.
Abiru said that voters’ registration should not be an exercise conducted three months before a general election often prevent Nigerians from exercising their civic duties.
The chairman, who made the recommendation during an interview with newsmen after assessing the level of turn out for the just concluded Lagos-East senatorial and Kosofe II bye-elections conducted in the state, noted that the registration process should be accessible at all local governments across the country.
“A child that clocks eighteen years of age now should not be subjected to wait for another two years or more before he or she could be duly registered. Also, change of residence should not be a problem for Nigerians. I live in Bariga today, if I move to Ikeja, updating my residence in the voters’ register should not be a big deal for INEC as it undermines the democratic process”.
While raising concerns over voter apathy during the bye-election, he advised that the commission must introduce novel strategies that could motivate voters to exercise their civic duty during elections.
He, however, commended the youths for what he described as improved participation in the bye-election, just as the lawmaker noted that in the aftermath of EndSARS protests, youths were showing increased willingness to contribute their quota to the democratic process as they constitute over 60 percent of voter population.