Challenged Parenthood Initiative (CPI), a Kogi-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), has urged electoral stakeholders to put in place strategic and deliberate interventions to address identified challenges militating against women participation in electoral processes.
Ms Eunice Agbogun, Executive Director of CPI, made the call at the Kogi West joint Townhall Meeting organised by CPI and Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID) on Wednesday in Lokoja.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the meeting on Stop Violence Against Women in Politics and Get-Out-The-Vote campaign is being supported by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in partnership with UKaid and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Agbogun said that the joint West senatorial district Town Hall meeting was a conscious and deliberate drive for peaceful and all-inclusive Nov. 16, 2019 off-cycle governorship election in Kogi.
“Our democratic journey so far as a nation and particularly as a state has not been as inclusive and as encompassing as our founding fathers had envisaged.
“Statistics have shown that women make up just six per cent of all elective positions at the national level and far less at state-level. This has clearly emasculated the desired development we ought to have gotten from our participation in the democratic experiment”, she said.
According to her, the joint CPI and PIBCID engagements are expected to mitigate incidents of hate speech, fake news, gender-based electoral violence, vote-buying and as well, encourage voter turnout during the forthcoming election.
The Obaro of Kabba, Solomon Owoniyi, represented by High Chief Joseph Osagbemi, said the meeting was worth the while, adding that no amount of sacrifice could be considered too much for the attainment of peace in the November election.
Oba Owoniyi also called on government to play fundamental role in ensuring peace during the election and called on women to, in spite of their domestic hindrances, play prominent roles in the electoral processes through active participation.
The Ohimege of Koton-Karfe, Alhaji Abdulrazak Isa-Koto, represented by Dr Abdullahi Musa Bako, urged political parties to preach peace and avoid hate speech and fake news in their campaigns.
The monarch also urged youths not to allow themselves to be used to perpetrate violence.
Prof. James Apam, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, represented by Alhaji Ahmed Bagudu-Biambo, Director, Voter Education and Publicity (VEP), urged all stakeholders at the meeting to take the peace message back to their respective constituencies.
“All hands must be on deck. We request all participants to permeate the grassroots with this peace message, to ensure that the Nov. 16 election reflect the true position of the electorate,” Apam he said.
Dr Richard Esebagbon, Acting Country Director NDI, said his office was in the state to support the good work of its partners at ensuring peaceful election and promotion of good governance and as well combat fake news and hate speech before, during and after the election. (NAN)
Edited by Abdullahi Yusuf
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