State-based Civil Society Organizations in Kogi state have called for early commencement of voter education activities in the state to checkmate a possible low voter turnout ahead of the November 16 Governorship Election. The State CSOs made the call in Lokoja during an assessment exercise organized by YIAGA AFRICA to analyze the political and security situation in the state.
While registering their fears of possible low voter turnout for the Governorship elections in the state, CSOs urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reach out to citizens at various communities with voter education messages ahead of time.
Speaking during the exercise, Executive Director of Initiative for Grassroots Advancement (INGRA) Hamza Aliyu lauded YIAGA AFRICA for the initiative saying it will prepare the election stakeholders in the state for better civic engagement. While hailing the credibility of YIAGA AFRICA’s data-driven election observation methodology, he urged that attention should also be channeled to the community level so that communities understand the electoral process better.
He further advised collaboration between CSOs and other election stakeholders saying INGRA will be actively involved in voter education and pre-election observation activities for the Kogi elections.
Similarly, Executive Director of Conscience for Human Right and Connect Resolution (CHRCR) Idris Miliki Abdul also reaffirmed the importance of voter education saying the political and security terrain in Kogi is also taking an ethnic dimension. According to him, in order to forestall any possible violence, there is need to design special messages against electoral violence. He said there is need to map flash points in the state and also intensively stop and search vehicles to check arms proliferation.
In a similar vein, chairman of the Kogi state council of NUJ, Alhaji Momoh Jimoh Adeiza commended YIAGA AFRICA for the steps taken to ensure a free, fair and violent free election in Kogi state, urging them to step up their campaign.
Other State-based organizations that are part of the assessment exercise includes, Lift Up Care Foundation (LUCAF), Challenged Parenthood Initiative (CPI) and Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID).