Nigerians can vote out underperforming elected leaders — INEC REC, Gabriel Yomere

Gabriel Yomere, the resident electoral commissioner in Cross River, says Nigerians reserve the right to vote out underperforming political leaders.

Mr Yomere stated this at Friday’s second quarter consultative meeting of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and leaders of civil society organisations in Calabar.

He said that Nigerians should refuse to accept the notion that every politician must serve two terms irrespective of their performance.
The INEC official said it was unproductive and irresponsible to stay indoors during elections after criticising an under-performing politician.

“After assuming duty as the REC in Cross River in 2022, I went through the records and saw that the 2019 election turnout was extremely poor. I became very worried and decided to do something about it. But after the 2023 election, the outcome remained poor,” he said.

Mr Yomere said that one reason for meeting with civil society organisations was to seek their support for citizens’ participation in the electoral process.
“Civil society organisations are critical stakeholders in the electoral process. They need to work with INEC and security agencies to achieve results,” he said.
The REC, who said that the Continuous Voter Registration exercise would soon commence, urged civil society groups to participate in mobilising residents.
Nsikak Ikpeme, the chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (Calabar chapter), said that the 2023 governorship election in Cross River witnessed apathy because the electorate was dissatisfied with the electoral process.

Mr Ikpeme said that INEC should be willing to adopt technology to ensure a credible electoral process, saying, “This will rebuild confidence and trust in the system.”


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