Ahead of the November 16 governorship election in Kogi, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged women in the state to come out in their numbers to vote candidates of their choice.
The commission’s Head of Gender Department, Mrs Blessing Obidegwu, who made the call on Thursday in Lokoja said steps have been taken to deepen women participation in the Nov.16 governorship election in Kogi state.
She said more women will participate in the election as voters, adhoc staff and election observers.
Obidegwu who spoke at a one-day sensitisation forum organised by INEC for selected young female voters in collaboration with the European Centre for Electoral Supports (ECES) said that two female were among 23 persons that will be contesting the governorship election.
She, however, said that female voters were free to vote for candidate of their choice irrespective of tribe, gender and religion.
Obidegwu explained that the forum was organised for the young female voters to meet and share experiences and to build their confidence in the electoral process.
In his opening remarks, INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of partnership and outreach, Dr Adekunle Ogunmola, said that equal participation of men and women was very key to the success of the election.
He said that the sensitisation forum was designed for young female voters as part of efforts to enrich the electoral process and in line with INEC gender policy.
“The degree to which young women participate in politics can be strongly influenced by the policies and programmes of government, civil society, political parties and the commission,” he said.
Also speaking, the country’s Representative of ECES, Mrs Teresa Maurio, said that the group’s partnership with INEC was to ensure that women play active roles in the coming election.
“The women constitute an important segment of the voting population and for Nigeria with a youthful population, the participation of young women in particular to the electoral process,” she said.