—As JDPMC Advocates Massive Participation Of Electorates
By Rafiu Agboola, Osogbo
With few days to Nigeria’s general elections, parents have been advised to restrain their children and wards from engaging in acts capable of disrupting the peaceful conduct of the election.
At a press conference organised by a Non Governmental Organization, Inter-religious Dialogue Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, for Christian and Muslim Women as well as members of Women in the Civil Society Organisations on Peace Solidarity ahead of the 2023 General Elections.
Speaking, Osun State Ameerah of the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association of Nigeria, Alhaja Sadiat Oladapo urged women to troop out on Saturday to cast their ballot, warning them not to sell their votes during the election.
Oladapo who called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to address all encumbrances that may hinder women’s participation in elections said women are prepared to vote on Saturday, promising that FOMWAN would raise awareness among other women to participate in the elections.
She said: “We want the election to be peaceful before. We want peace before, during and after the election. As women we have roles to play. We should all tell our children from engaging on any act capable of causing crisis before, during and after the poll.
“We as women too, we should not partake in any activities that can jeopardize the peace of the state. Let me also use this opportunity to sensitise our women on the need not to sell their votes just because of peanut that these politicians will be given to them.”
Echoing similar views, President of Women Wing of Christian Association of Nigeria, Osun State chapter, Prof Iyabode Oluwayemisi Dudusola charged women to troop out on Saturday to vote for candidates of their choice.
She enjoined the security agencies to ensure safety of the electorates, especially the women during the forthcoming elections.
Prof Dudusola, who was represented by the Secretary of Women Wing of Christian Association of Nigeria at the event, Mrs Comfort Adeoye expressed the readiness of women in the state to exercise their civic rights just as she said she was confident that their votes will count.
“I want to urge our people that on the day of election they should not stay at home they should make sure they go out and cast their votes for the candidates of their choice.”
In her contribution, Mrs Yemisi Falope, a representative of Justice, Development and Peace Makers’ Centre (JDPMC) who said the faith based organisation has been agitating for peaceful election over the years used the avenue to sensitize both Muslim and christian women to their roles during elections and urged them to participate actively.
She said: “Parents are, by this medium, advised to warn their children and wards to desist from acts capable of breaching the public peace during the general elections. Please don’t let us encourage vote buying. Let’s be law abiding.
In an address, General Coordinator of the JDPMC, Reverend Peter Akinkunmi harped on the need for people to participate in the coming general elections.
Akinkunmi advised voters to trust the integrity of electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC because of the new electoral act 2022
He maintained that it’s important for the electorates to respect electoral law and mobilize to exercise their civic responsibilities, while also appealing to the INEC to adequately train both permanent and ad hoc to master and comply with the guidelines of the commission.
“A lot of issues making up the background of 2023 general election necessitate that everyone should participate during this 2023 general elections.
“This election is unique because unlike in the past, there are three very strong contestants in this general election since we returned to democracy in 1999.
“We have a situation where we do not have one specific candidate that is already dominant on the political space ahead of the 2023 general election and so we do belief that as much persons that come out to vote, so are we going to have determinant for a winner during the presidential election.
He said the situation where number of registered voters who did vote in the last election were more than those who voted should be aparthy.