News / Africa

Nigerian Voters Question Length of Registration for January Elections

TEXT SIZE - +

Nigerians go to the polls in January to choose new lawmakers, state governors, and a president. Some voters are concerned there will not be enough time to register everyone who wants to vote.

Nigeria's electoral commission this week ended months of speculation about the timing of next year's vote by announcing that legislative elections will be held January 15 followed by presidential voting on the 22nd and gubernatorial voting on the 29th.

Engineer Ibrahim Okoki says it is about time.

"We want a good leader to lead our country that is why I am so eager, I am waiting anxiously for January 22 to vote for the good president who is going to lead our country," said Ibrahim Okoki.

Federal elections in 2007 were marred by wide-spread allegations of fraud and intimidation. Accountant Awonusi Adewale says a fairer vote this time will help Nigeria's economy.

"The political stability in any country is very important for the investors and the economy, for those who have investment in Nigeria, they want the transition to be smooth," said Awonusi Adewale.

The electoral commission says registration for that voting will be held during the first 14 days of November. But some Nigerians say that is not enough time for a country of more than 150 million people.

Chief Francis Malam Obi is a community leader in Nigeria's southern Delta region.

"Fourteen days is not enough for the process because most of them will come from where ever they are staying in Lagos or Abuja," said Francis Malam Obi. "They will like to go home to their hometown to register, so it is not enough at all. You need a good registration, so the 14 days is too small. They should make it one month."

If the registration is not completed successfully, Reverend Sylvester Odemelukpore says the electoral commission should extend the exercise.

"My opinion is let us try the 14," said Sylvester Odemelukpore. "But they shouldn't stay on it. Maybe if they didn't meet up, they should also have other extensions. But let's try to work on the 14 days being stipulated."

Ruling-party politician Austin Oboba says the timeline was imposed on the electoral commission by the federal government, which moved up voting from April to January.

"Democracy has been in Nigeria," Austin Oboba said. "We have experienced it now without interruption, and we want that culture to be maintained. Even though we are not going to expect 100 percent perfect registration, but at least something is being done."

Oboba says most Nigerians view political affairs with suspicion. But the only way to make a difference is to take part in the process.

"When you are saying you don't want Mr. A or Mr. B to be there, what is your strength? Your only instrument is by registering," he said. "So if you have your vote, if you put your one vote it is counted. And you make the man of your choice to win. So if you don't register, already you have disenfranchised yourself. You can only talk. But you can not act."

Reverend Odemelukpore says he is encouraging his congregation to take part.

"Let them go out there and get themselves registered so that they have access to vote," he said. "Because if you don't register, you don't have access to vote. So we are doing our level best to sensitize our people, our members, the Christian community, to go and register so they can come out en mass to vote for the person they wish to vote for."

Vegetable seller Mary Haruna says she has yet to see a candidate she would vote for.

"I only pray to God to select a good leader for us," said Mary Haruna. "There is no one that we know now who is good for us. Only God knows the best person."

Ruling-party governors say President Goodluck Jonathan has told them that he will be a candidate in this vote. That would disrupt a regional power-sharing agreement that says the next president should be from northern Nigeria. Mr. Jonathan is expected to formally  announce his candidacy later this month.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid