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Internal democracy promotes voter education – INEC official

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The Deputy Director, Voters Education and Publicity, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr Stephen Ojewande, on Tuesday, said internal democracy among political parties had increased voters’ education and participation.

Ojewande stated this during a review and Refresher Workshop for Training of Trainers on Voter Education organised by Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) in Abuja.

He said poor turnout of voters cannot be attributed to inefficient voters education, saying that the commission had intense voters education activities carried out in collaboration with other stakeholders.

According to him, factors responsible for voter apathy is the political class, and they need to get their games right in terms of internal democracy and also involve themselves in voters education.

He said there a was need to maintain adequate security to assure voters of their safety.

Ojewande said there was no legal framework that allows for electronic voting yet, adding that the Electoral Act does not permit the electronic compilation of results.

The Head of Department, Community Development Services and Social Projects, Osun Secretariat, Mr Kayode Peters, said the impact of voters education and use of the corps members cannot be over emphasised, adding that they are spread across communities in the country.

Peters said the collaboration with the NGO would further impact positively on the nation’s democracy.

The Country Representative, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Mr Adebowale Olorunmola, said the purpose of the workshop was to bring INEC officials and corps members together in reorientating them on civic and voters education as well as share experiences and learn lessons from the past elections.

“The programme was designed for youths, women and Persons With Disabilities, the youths which constitute males and females between 18 and 35 years in which the corps members fall within the group.

“We targeted them to build their capacity and also to reach out to their peers in the places of primary assignment.

“The Corps members are posted to different parts of the country, which include the grassroots, and they are able to carry out voters education and sensitisation to several inaccessible and difficult areas.

Olorunmola said the workshop was also to reduce voter apathy and strengthen the electoral process.

 

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