A Data Analyst, Mr Babajide Ogunsanwo has called for the amendment of Section 12 of the nation’s Electoral Act in order to encourage the young population to vote as practicable in some advanced countries.
Ogunsanwo said this when he appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s News At 10. He claimedmost Nigerian youths are not engaged in national discourse.
“We should be looking at the need to review Section 12 of the Electoral Act,” he said while lamenting over the yet-to-be-collected Permanent Voter’s Card (PVCs).
“Section 12 is that section that says you must be 18 years old to register. In the United States, you don’t have to be 18 years old. You just have to be 18 years old before election day.”
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Ogunsanwo wondered why a 15-year-old Nigerian would be prevented from voting during elections when such a child can be allowed to work, get married and even be taxed by the government.
Depriving such from participating at elections, he explained, would mean depriving them of engaging in national issues that would benefit them.
“A 15-year-old Nigerian can get a job, a 15-year-old Nigerian can get married, the government will collect tax (from) a 15-year-old Nigerian that has a job.
So, does it really make sense that on one hand, the government can hold the small palms from a 15-year-old and collect his money but then you do not allow a 15-year-old whom you have collected his money to have a say in the policies of this country,” Ogunsanwo added.
The data analyst also wants the government to do everything possible to encourage voters to get their PVCs and turnout for the forthcoming elections.
To him, most citizens would rather prefer an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) over the national passport or even the voters’ cards.
Drawing a statistics, Ogunsanwo explained that Lagos State with a workable population of over five million people records over one million uncollected PVCs, the highest in the country.
Oyo State, on the other hand, follows next with a workable population of about three million workforce and over 700,000 that are yet to collect their PVCs.
With the record, according to Ogunsanwo, there is a great need for the government to reach out to the workable population so as not to deny them of their rights, ahead of next year’s general elections.
With the general elections that is a year away from now, various non-governmental organisation have called on Nigerians to collect their PVCs to enable them to exercise their franchise as bonafide citizens.
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