Northern elders caution INEC against disenfranchising eligible voters


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has being call upon to ensure that it did not disenfranchise any eligible voter by allotting limited time for casting of votes during elections.
According to the forum, any eligible voter at a polling booth should be allowed to cast his/her vote no matter how long it would take.
This call was made by a senior member of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), the Wazirin Bauchi, Alhaji Muhammadu Bello Kirfi, who explained that it would be an infringement of voters’ right to stop them from voting under the pretext that the time allotted for voting was up.
“This approach might be used in opposition states, but I think it would be wrong. If it comes to that, I think it would be an infringement of the victims’ right,” Kirfi
Said, at a press conference held in Bauchi late last week.
Kirfi also implored INEC never to collaborate with the ruling party to cause delay in deliverance of elections materials to local government areas or designated polling stations across the states with, the sole aim of disenfranchising voters.
“They may create delay in the deliverance of voting materials. When it is said that voting will commence from 8 a.m., INEC officials may not turn up until around 2 p.m. and, in few hours later, the officials would declare voting over, while many voter might still be on the line”, Kirfi alleged.
He observed that because of the interest generated by the 2015 general elections, there would be massive turnout of voters on the election days.
He explained that it was the denial of voters’ right to vote or disenfranchising them that often led to crisis and subsequently violence.
“INEC must take account of this if it wants peaceful elections,” Kirfi advised.

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