The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has made a case for reduction of the number of registered political parties for easy identification by the electorate during elections.
Saga Gist reports that 70 political parties were entered for the February 23 presidential election, making even the process of result collation labourous, which was not justified by the output as, beyond the big two: APC and PDP, which got 15 million and 11 million votes respectively, none of the other 71 parties could get anywhere close to one million votes.
The Adamawa State Director of the NOA, Alhaji Ahmed Sudi, who made the point for a reduction in number of political parties during a press interview in Yola, said large numbers of votes were wasted during the presidential and National Assembly
elections as a result of non-identification of party logos in ballot papers by some voters.
“It was obvious that lots of voters got confused by the multiple logos from which to identify for voting, and many ended up making the wrong choices,” Sudi said.
“Possibly to support this view, the party that came third in the presidential election, the PCP which scored 110,196 votes, might have looked like PDP to many voters and it actually comes immediately before PDP on the ballot. Similarly, the party which ranked fourth in number of votes gathered at the presidential election, the ADC which got 97,874 votes, might have been mistaken by some voters to be APC.”
Alhaji Sudi also said most of the ad-hoc staff employed by INEC for the elections could not operate card reader as they were not knowledgeable about it, which, accordingly to him, led to late start of accreditation and voting in some units in Adamawa State.
The NOA state director, however, said the NOA would continue to educate the electorate on how to vote correctly in the coming governorship and houses of assembly elections.
He commended INEC for conducting “free, fair, credible and transparent elections” last Saturday and expressed the hope that the next elections to be held on the 9th of March would also be credible.