British High Commission

…as groups lament continued downward low turn out of voters.

By Chimaobi Nwaiwu

The British High Commission, Saturday called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to learn from, and improve for the 2023 general election, from the just concluded Anambra State governorship election.

It also urged the Federal Government not to look down on the agitations in Nigeria particularly the unusual one coming from South East, now it has not escalated, saying that dialogue is important at the current stage of the agitations in South East.

The call was made by Head of Political, British High Commission, Aneesah Islam, during the Justice Development and Peace Caritas, JDPC, Onitsha with support from Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, FCDO, on review meeting on peace, security, peaceful election and service delivery project in Anamhra State held at Hilton Leisure Resort and Hotel Awka, Anambra State.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room and the Social and Integral Development Center, SIDEC, has lamented that Anambra State has been witnessing low turn out of voters during elections from 2010 election.

Islam who urged the Federal Government government of Nigeria to learn from all the successes recorded from the Anambra governorship election and improve on it to make the 2023 election better, free fair credible and more peaceful than what was recorded in Anambra State.

She thanked the people of Anambra State and all the people and groups who made the election peaceful and for their resort to peace which ensured that success of the election, saying that before the election nobody believed that it will be peaceful and credible as recorded.

“Before the election, there was tension, no peace, but the election came and it was conducted peacefully, if peace is threatened, there will not be any election, so the Federal government should not disregard the agitations going on in Nigeria but should resolve all agitations and ensure that there is peace before the 2023 election, they should also learn for the success of the election.

Also speaking during the occasion, the FCDO, Regional Coordinator Southern Nigeria, Dr Ulachi Roonie, told the Federal Government of Nigeria and South East Governors that there is need to return peace, normal business activities in South East following the ongoing Monday weekly sit-at-home, saying that it should not be looked at as affecting only South East and therefore should be ignored.

Giving statistics percentage of the turn out of voters in the state, the South East Coordinator of Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, and Executive Director of SIDEC, Mrs Ugochi Ehiahuruike, said from 1999, the state has not recorded up to 50% turn out of voters.

According to her, in 1999 the turn out of voters was 46.4%, 2003 it was 47.22%, 2010 16.33%, 2013 24%, 2017, 21.74% and 2021 11.2 %, saying that the low turn out is not unconnected with politicians not keeping to their promises to the electorates.

JDPC Coordinate for Onitsha, Mr. Alponsus Nwoye and his Monitoring and Evaluation, M&E, counterpart, Princess Cynthia Arinze-Enweonwu, urged political parties and politicians to commence training and voter education for their followers, improve on their service delivery, just as they called for National Orientation Agency, NOA, resuscitation.

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