Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has expressed concern over the dwindling rate of women’s participation in political activities.
Deputy Director, INEC Gender Division, Ms Blessing Obiadegwu raised the issue in Osogbo while addressing participants at the Women -to-Women Voter Education organised by the Nigeria Women Trust Fund ahead of this month’s governorship.
Ms Obiadegwu maintained that there was need for aggressive voter education to raise the awareness of women as to their rights to participate actively in politics.
She charged the participants to go to the hinterland and mobilise women to vote for the candidates of their choices.
The INEC gender officer said in any community where it was forbidden for both genders to be on queue during elections, the commission would create a different platform for women.
She expressed the commission’s determination to implement its gender policy which is centred on improving women’s participation in the government of the society.
In a remark, the promoter of the Nigeria Women Trust Fund, Mrs Mufuliat Fijabi observed that women in Nigeria were not in vantage position in the political of the country due to the patriarchal nature of the society.
Mrs Fijabi was of the view that the negativity limiting women participation would be drastically reduced with improved voter education.
Earlier, Osun State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Segun Agbaje who was represented by the Head of Voter Education, Venerable Stephen Ojewande pleaded with the trainers to educate women in the rural areas the danger of vote selling.
Mr Agbaje said the Osun governorship election was a major test of Nigeria’s readiness to nip in the bud, the vote buying syndrome which is affecting the country’s image.
In a related development, the Independent National Electoral Commission has urged political parties to keep their spending within the limit of legal provision.
Speaking at a meeting with political parties on campaign ‘Financing ,Tracking and Reporting’ in Osogbo, the INEC head of Election and Political Monitoring in Osun State, Mrs Folake Agboola argued that it was imperative to regulate financing of campaigns by parties.
Mrs Agboola explained that such was necessary to ensure that the nations evolving democratic culture was participatory and not hijacked by few money bags.
Similarly, the representative of the Director of Political Party Monitoring, Mr Damian Akhamhe said by the provision of Electoral Act, no candidate must spend beyond two hundred million naira to prosecute a governorship election project.
Mr Akhamhe stressed that the provision of the Law was to prevent the monetisation of the electoral process in the interest of an all inclusive democratic system.
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