INEC laments exclusion of young females from electoral processes
Edo State office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday lamented the exclusion of young females in the electoral process noting that they comprise a large percentage of voters.
Johnson Alalibo, the Edo INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) made the remarks during a sensitisation campaign for young female voters in conjunction with the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), in Benin City.
Alalibo, who was represented by the administrative secretary of Edo INEC, Etim Umoh said the awareness was to enlighten young female voters in a bid to address low participation ahead of the Edo State governorship election slated for September 19.
He however, urged young female electorate to replicate the enlightenment campaigns in their various neighbourhood during the elections amid Coronavirus disease.
“Our vision is to ensure that we continue to improve on the conduct of free, fair and credible elections through transparent process acceptable to the people.
“This programme is designed to address the low participation of young female voters in the electoral process. This group constitutes a large percentage of voters who do not participate in the electoral process.
“It is our hope that after this awareness campaign, the young female voters will take their place in the electoral process,” he said.
While corroborating, Blessing Obidiegwu, the deputy director, gender division of INEC said previous analysis of elections revealed low participation of young females in the electoral process such as candidates, voters and observers.
Earlier, Sylvestre Somo, Senior Project Officer, European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), said the European Union was proud to be part of initiative seeking to mobilise energetic young female voters to play a significant part in the electoral process.
He stressed that youth inclusiveness in the electoral process adds value to the attainment of democracy which holds the key to overcoming some of the negative features of the electoral process such as low voter turnout, election violence and vote buying.
“I am confident that the youth of Edo State will ensure massive turnout during the election and serve as agents of peaceful and non-violent election notwithstanding the pandemic situation of COVID-19,” he added.