The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that lack of trust among Nigerians is the main reason for the closure of the country’s borders during elections.
INEC’s Head of Voters Education and Publicity in Plateau State, Mr. Osareti Imahiyereobo, made the disclosure in a goodwill message, during a Town Hall Meeting organised by Search For Common Ground, a non governmental organisation, yesterday.
“Closure of all our borders (during elections) has greatly affected the economic growth of the nation as all businesses are also always on standstill till after elections.
“This very action is mainly due to the lack of trust among us Nigerians and which is not good for us as a nation given its negative effects on our economy because businesses are always closed down.
“In some other countries, like Zambia, borders and business premises are left open while some sensitive materials, like ballot papers, are always sent out to voters weeks before elections and their elections were not affected in any way.
“But, that kind of trust and understanding can’t happen here because we as Nigerians do not trust ourselves, ’’ he said.
The INEC official also called on Plateau residents to accept in good faith whatever may be the outcome at be Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in the state.
“There is need for us to support those who have been elected to represent us at whatever level and capacity so that we can enjoy the dividends of democracy, ’’ he added.
Earlier, Mrs Niri Goyit, the Project Coordinator for Search for Common Ground, had said that the purpose for the town hall meeting was to give room for stakeholders to assess the general elections.
“We are so happy that the civil society groups, including journalists, collaborated with us on the education and sensitisation of voters and politicians on the need for peaceful conduct before, during and after the elections, ’’ she said.
Goyit also explained that the town hall meeting was aimed at sifting the views of stakeholders on the conducts of politicians, voters, security operatives and INEC; so as to come out with a communique that would help chart a new course for conduct of elections in Nigeria.