Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has said the solution to voter’s apathy begins with politicians who are occupying elective positions noting that they are not doing much with the trust they were given by the people.
The governor, who chaired one of the sessions at the retreat for newly elected Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) officers, held in Abuja on Wednesday, said there was a connection between the performance of elective office holders and the high level of voter apathy in the country.
In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, Governor Makinde noted that Nigerian youths and women who formed a critical percentage of the voting population during elections have been disappointed by the political class hence the lack of interest in coming out to vote on election days.
According to the governor, the best way to address the issue of voter’s apathy is to ensure political parties deal with the issue of elective office holders breaching the trust and confidence repose in them by the voters. He urged elective office holders on the platform of PDP to show that the party is ready to engender good governance at all levels.
Makinde said, ” The 2015 presidential election was won and lost with a voting population of less than 30 million. In 2019, the figures were similar – less than 30 million people voted. In both cases, the total number of registered voters was just below 85 million.
“From these numbers, we can clearly see that we have an election participation problem. First, those eligible to register are not registering to vote. Second, over 60% of those who registered, shun the elections.
“So, looking towards 2023, one of the key issues that we need to address is voter apathy and we cannot effectively address youth participation in Nigerian politics while ignoring the reason behind this apathy.
“We have a growing population of poor Nigerians and the growing feeling among the youths is that their only hope for economic stability is to leave the country. Why then should they be interested in voting? If politicians at all levels make an impact in people’s lives, then they will be more interested in who occupies these positions and who wins the elections.”
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