2019: 70% of voters in presidential poll were illiterates – Muiz Banire

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Former Chairman, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Dr Muiz Banire SAN says Nigeria must improve on education of its citizenry so that an uninformed majority does not keep making decisions for the nation.

This is just as he lamented that 70 percent of voters in the 2019 presidential poll were illiterates.

He said it was worrisome that such a large majority were influenced by primordial sentiments due to their inability to make informed decisions.

Banire stated this at an event organised by Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) in Ibadan, Oyo State on Sunday, TheCable reports.

The former National Legal Adviser of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) also made a case for accurate census given its centrality in taking important national decisions.

“Everybody knows that most of the entitlements in Nigeria are based on the census figure.

“There are some prerequisites that must be addressed. As of today, Nigeria has no reliable census. We don’t even know how many we are; the same manner we don’t know how much oil we produce.

“So, we need certainly to get our census right, but I’m not too sure that that can ever be gotten right, because except there is a nationalistic conviction in all of us, we can’t get it.

“Everybody knows that most of the entitlements in Nigeria are based on the census figure — revenue, location of infrastructure, employment. So, everybody strives to manipulate it from one to the other and without it, no progress for the nation. We must get our census right.

“We must get the election right. Of course, we are making progress but we are not yet there. When INEC improved in technology and everything, now it’s vote buying. We have to tame that. We have to tame illiteracy.

“The last election, only 35 percent of Nigeria’s eligible voters voted Nigeria’s president, and out of this 35 percent, 70 percent of them are illiterates — those who do not know why they are voting; ‘they said we should go and vote’; ‘they said that man is in our area’; ‘he’s our town man’; ‘we attend the same mosque’; ‘he’s our pastor’ — and all manners of primordial considerations.

“So, at the end of the day, those who do not know are the ones showing us the road in Nigeria,” Banire said.

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