2019: Sabbatarians call for INEC to reschedule Election Day from Saturday •Say over 43 million members may be disenfranchised

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 23 December 2018 | 1,066 times

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Members of the Sabbatarian Youths of Nigeria (ASYN) on Friday decried a situation where their worship day is constantly sabotaged for elections in Nigeria.

Addressing journalists in Awka, the youths said that a considerable number of Sabbatarian youths electors who are more than eight million in number and more than thirty-five non-youth members of Sabbath were going to be disenfranchised if the day is not changed.

In a protest letter to President Muhammadu Buhari made available to journalist, the national president of the association, Evangelist B.K Udeze and national secretary, Mr C.N. Orji, said: "These people are being deprived of their franchise due to the conduct of election on Saturdays, which is their holy day of worship.

 "Over 43 million of their members across the country would be disenfranchised in 2019 if nothing is done.

"It is an established fact that three internationally recognized worshipping days, namely Sunday, Friday, and Saturday for Christians, Muslims and Jews respectively, had taken international recognition.

"It is only in Nigeria in that most of the national activities/elections were being conducted on Saturdays, thereby depriving Saturday worshippers their rights to vote and be voted for and to participate in other national activities as eligible citizens of Nigeria."

The letter reads in part: “It is worthy of note that the considerable number of Sabbatarian Youths electors are more than eight million people and more than thirty-five million non-youth members of Sabbath eligible to vote."

ASYN observed that records show that the number of previously recorded votes were far below the number, who had their Permanent Voter Card, PVC citing the choice of the day for the election as one of the contributing factors.

Continuing, the letter read: “We want to refer to the constitutional provisions according to every citizen of this country, the right and freedom of worship/religion. It is simple to conduct national elections any other day apart from the three internationally recognized days of worship. Laws and International Conventions have determined that every citizen of a country, who is eligible to vote, shall be allowed to exercise his/her franchise and any election conducted, which excludes some eligible citizens from voting, amounts to disenfranchisement.

“Despite the status given to the right to vote on the international scene, and notwithstanding the fact that Nigeria has ratified these international instruments, it is disconcerting to discover that we have not been accorded the voting rights.

“It is our strong view that we should be allowed to exercise this right. Therefore, we see no reason why we should be imposed with laws, which have to be obeyed by every citizen without giving an opportunity to partake in electing those who will govern us and make those laws which we obey.

 “We, therefore, ask our distinguished President to hearken to our petition and attend to it as an urgent matter before the upcoming election of 2019, to ensure our exercise of franchise and participation in the election.”

Source: News Express

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