According to the IEC, there are 886,578 registered voters. These voters have greater responsibility in moving the electoral process forward than candidates and their parties. This is why voter education is a responsibility of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE).
On the 3 October, any Presidential Candidate should proceed to collect nomination forms from the IEC. These forms are to contain the names of registered voters, their voters’ card numbers and signatures to show that they are endorsing a particular candidate.
Section 46 of the Constitution requires that each candidate must be nominated by at least 5,000 (five thousand) registered voters. Hence the IEC will give forms to these candidates to take around to those who wish to nominate them so that their voters’ card numbers and signatures could be entered.
The IEC and the NCCE should be on air to explain to the people that this is a legal and normal process. No one should have any fear in nominating the candidate of one’s choice. No one should wait to be induced by money or other privileges to sign nomination forms. This is the first civic duty of a registered voter to prove that he/she is ready to support his/her choice.
Any registered voter who hesitates to sign nomination forms for one reason or another is yet to be committed to the candidate of his/her choice and would still remain an undecided voter. Those who want change would sign the nomination forms of the candidate they would want to lead that change. This is the starting point of giving commitment for change.
The second process will start by 7 November when candidates will go to the IEC, backed by their supporters, to submit their nomination forms and other credentials so that they would be duly nominated to contest the 1 December 2016 presidential poll.
The time is ticking. Registered voters should be alert and move with the times otherwise the end result of the election will be a surprise to them. They will keep aloof and not participate in the election when they should be, but only to complain after others have decided the outcome for them.
Participate now in support of the candidate of your choice so as not to complain later. Continue to demand for opposition unity even after filling the nomination papers of the candidate of your choice. In doing so, you may participate in voting for a single candidate if opposition parties agree to hold a primary or a convention.