Less than 31 days to one of the most decisive elections in the country and all are geared towards ensuring a smooth outcome of the democratic process. The INEC Chairman Prof Mammod Yakubu has publicly reiterated that despite the current challenges facing the country, the commission would conduct free and fair elections and deliver electoral justice.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says students account for 40 percent of newly registered voters, of a total number of 9,518,188, newly registered voters in Nigeria.
The INEC Chairman, Mammod Yakubu noted that In terms of demographic distribution, 7.2 million new voters, or 76.5% are young people between 18-34 years, while there is a slightly higher number of females (4.8 million or 50.82%) than males (4.6 million or 49.18%) voters. He also said that In terms of occupation, 3.8 million (40.8%) are students.
There is no doubt that students form a relevant percentage of voters in this coming election and their votes to some extent will determine the future of the giant of Africa.
Within Nigeria has however gathered that some public tertiary institutions have fixed activities that would restrict students from actively taking part in the democratic process. These activities tend to restrict them from exercising their fundamental human right, which is to vote and be voted for.
For example, a closer check at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, academic calendar shows that lectures will end for all students on the 24th of Feb, the eve of the Presidential election, making it almost impossible for students to travel to their respective locations to vote.
Similarly, students of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, will also be facing the same issue. The management has set out an e-test for 100-level and large classes from Monday 13th, February, to Saturday, 25th February.
WITHIN NIGERIA gathered that several institutions including the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) are currently undergoing examinations, and students who are yet to obtain their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) will not be able to beat the deadline.
Students who are eligible to vote might be restricted which can affect the turnout of voters, a fear expressed by Dr. Bayo Fasunwon, Associate Professor of Political Science at Adekunle Ajasin University (AAUA).
Dr. Fasunwon noted that many would be unable to vote except institutions are shut a week before and during elections.
” It is expected that mostly, only tertiary students would fall into the voting age. Many would not vote except institutions are shut a week before and during elections. Although, they ought to have registered in their school environment so as to vote. Also, given that the majority of Voters are youths (according to INEC), Voter turnout is technically reduced by about 2 million votes.” he said.
Discussion about this post