Address Voter Apathy, Presidential Aide Appeals to S’west Leaders

Senator Babafemi Ojudu

By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, has said that leaders in the South-west will resolve the recurrent issue of voter apathy during elections in the region.

Ojudu added that it was imperative for leaders to come out en mass and show commitment to voter education that would ignite people’s interests to vote on election day.

The former federal lawmaker, described the low turnout of voters recorded during the Presidential and National Assembly elections as worrisome, adding that leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the region will address the issue.

Ojudu spoke in Ado Ekiti on Monday while reminiscing on the outcome of the presidential election, which was adjudged to have recorded low turnout in the South-west region.

The presidential adviser said it sounded disturbing for Lagos with over five million registered voters to have scored less than 1.5 million votes in the presidential race going by the results garnered by APC and the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election.

“This is an issue of concern to all of us. We must address it if truly we want to be relevant or translate our population to benefits and recognition.

“Going by the statistics released by Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), Lagos has over 5.5 million, but it recorded less than 1.5 million, that was disturbing.

“By the time we did the computation of the result of the presidential poll in Lagos, less than 18 per cent voted.

“Our leaders must do more recruitment of people into the electoral process. We must tell the self sufficient elite to take interest in voting, this is the best way to get it right.

“If you check the results, the people from Ikoyi, Victoria Garden City and Lekki, where we have large concentration of elite, very few people came out to vote.

“So, it is an issue we must discuss and address critically and that we are going to do,” he stated.

Ojudu charged INEC and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to join hands with other like minds to increase voter education in the zone.

“These institutions have a role to play here. A lot more needed to be done in voter education because our people are not taking interest in voting.

“I don’t want to believe that leadership failure was responsible, because elections are meant to correct any poor performing leaders.

“If we have any leader that is not performing, we must come out during elections and vote them out. So, leadership failure is not enough justification for anyone not to vote on election day,” he maintained.