Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has frowned at reports of electoral violence during the governorship polls held in Bayelsa and Kogi states on Saturday.
He warned that if nothing was done to address impunity in the electoral system, Nigeria would continue to witness decreasing rate of voter turnout in future elections.
Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, made this comment on Monday in Abuja, while speaking as a panelist at a Digital Voting Summit.
“We are talking about 34 per cent voter turnout in 2015″, he said.
“If this trend of electoral brigandage, unprecedented electoral violence and thuggery continues, I am afraid in 2023 we will be talking of less than 10 percent of registered voters-turnout.
“Next time, you do not expect people to be willing to participate in a war, because election in Nigeria has become a war for the ruling class,” he said.
He said that in order to address the problem, those arrested for electoral violence in past elections, including that of Kogi, must be prosecuted and sanctioned.
Falana emphasised the need to get the elite, especially the youths involved in politics, saying elections were now left for rural and market women, while youths go to play football on election day.
He was also of the view that electronic voting would help to address violence and high cost of elections in Nigeria.
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