By Rafiu Agboola, Osogbo
An election monitoring group, YIAGA Africa, on Thursday trained Civil Society Organisations(CSOs) on how to mobilise first time voters to partake in the forthcoming July 16 governorship election in the state.
Speaking during the organisation’s Parallel Vote Tabulation workshop in Osogbo, YIAGA Africa’s Head of Elections, Mr Paul James, said that the programme was to expose CSOs to the organisation’s election observation methodology and its plan to deploy Parallel Vote Tabulation during the election.
James, who noted that CSOs are important stakeholders in the electoral pricesses, said their role in educating citizens about preparatory activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission and other stakeholders could not be overemphasis
He appealed to the CSOs to engage political stakeholders on the need for a credible, free and fair election in the state.
Paul also urged representatives of the CSOs to educate the political gladiators on the danger of vote buying, monetary inducement and other negative vices capable of undermining credible electoral processes.
He said the organisation would work towards ensuring that residents of the state come out en mass to participate in the voting exercise, without fear of molestation or intimidation.
“One thing we commend the people of Osun for is having good participation in the electoral processes.
” If you check INEC statistics today, Osun is one the state that has the highest registers voters that will participate in both the state and federal elections.
“This workshop is to get the commitment from CSOs on the mobilisation of the new registered voters to participate in the election.
“For instance, INEC has introduced more than 500 polling units in the state.
” Osun used to have 3010 polling units, but now we have 3763 polling units.
“We expect CSOs to identify locations of these polling units and also help voters to identify the newly created polling units.
“We We want the CSOs to be more proactive as the election draw closer.
” We can use this period to engage both the citizens and other election stakeholders to ensure we have a hitch-free election”, he said.
James said YIAGA Africa would continue to remain unbiased, adding that the organisation is only interested in a free, fair and credible election.
Representatives of CSOs at the training workshop promised to be committed to the mobilisation of voters for the election.
They also promised to support free, credible and fair election in the state.
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