The Electoral Commission (EC) has ostensibly admitted it was responsible for the complications that marred the two phases of the special voting exercise.
The special voting exercise ended yesterday [Sunday] amidst more reports of registered voters, mostly security personnel, being turned away because their names were missing from the special voting registers in their constituencies nationwide.
The EC is mandated by law to display the special voting register at least 42 days to the day of the exercise.
But the Commission did not do so ahead of the 2016 elections and speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, the EC’s Director of Communications admitted that these problems could have been preempted if the EC had displayed the Special Voter’s register ahead of time.
“If you want me to admit for the sake of the discourse, yes,” Mr. Dzakpasu said to the host of the Citi Breakfast Show, Bernard Avle, whose line of questioning suggested the possible complicity of the EC in the special voting complications.
He, however, maintained that getting the electoral process right was the responsibility of all stakeholders in the process and thus advised against playing a blame game as he retorted that “in substance and practice, we all, including the voter, who takes part in special voting has the responsibility to ensure that the right thing is done.” “…but if you make it convenient and if someone will feel comfortable having it that the Electoral Commission must admit that we did not do it well, so be it,” he added.
This notwithstanding, Mr. Dzakpasu reminded that “the important thing is that, let us as a country and stakeholders focus on how best we can get it right by playing our role as prescribed by the rules and the processes.”
The Commission has since said persons who could not cast their ballot in this year’s special voting exercise can do so on during the general elections on December 7.
The group of persons in this category include those who submitted wrong voter details for the early voting exercise to the Commission hence did not have their names on the special voters’ register list.