AHEAD of the 2019 general election, Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, has assured Nigerians that the electoral body was committed to conducting a free, fair and inclusive election.
Yakubu made the pledge yesterday in Benin City, Edo State, at a one-day national consultation of key stakeholders on Women in Politics to adopt work plan for gender Mainstreaming and Mitigation of Gender Based Violence during elections The INEC chairman, represented by Mrs Blessing Obidegwu, Deputy Director, Gender Division, INEC Headquarters, said: “I use this opportunity to appeal to all those who have not collected their Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, to do so and also take the opportunity of the ongoing collection of PVCs in the local government areas because without your voter card, you will not be allowed to vote in 2019. “If we will want to be part of that process, we must have the power now.
The theme of today’s meeting is one that is dear to the commission as violence affects the integrity of any election. The commission is opened to collaboration with stakeholders to ensure that barriers that prevent women from active participation in elections are positively addressed.” He disclosed that INEC was collaborating with development partners including United Nations (UN) Women towards achieving the goals.
Calling on participants at the meeting to ensure that violence against women in elections are addressed, he said that they should also proffer strategies towards mitigating them. Edo State Deputy Governor, Mr Philip Shaibu, while declaring the event open earlier called on women to take advantage of their numerical strength to participate in elections. While canvassing the setting up of a tribunal to try electoral violence and other crimes during elections, he called on INEC to be involved in voters education before elections.