2019 Elections: NOA, INEC collaborate to reduce void, invalid votes in Kwara
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) on Thursday said it would do all that was necessary in partnership with relevant stakeholders to eliminate high incident of wasteful votes during elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the forum, which was held at the palace of Oba Abdulraheem Adeoti, attracted party leaders, supporters, religious leaders, security agents, market leaders and other stakeholders.
The forum was held in Omu-Aran Headquarters of Irepodun Local Government Area and held simultaneously in Owu-Isin, Iloffa and Osi, the Headquarters of Isin, Oke-Ero and Ekiti in Kwara South Senatorial District.
Adeyemi, who decried the incessant occurrence of void, rejected and invalid votes during past elections, said that the menace constituted a stumbling block toward advancing the nation’s electoral system in aligning with global best practices.
He said that the organisation of the forum was in line with the agency’s mandate of reawakening Nigerians, especially eligible voters to their patriotic duties and active participation in nation building.
“In pursuant of this mandate, the agency has been going across the country to sensitise Nigerians on various pertinent issues that will ensure a productive, reliable, free and fair 2019 general elections.
“Today our focus is on the very important issue of maximum reduction of void votes, which has become a recurring decimal in electoral process as a nation,” he said.
Mr Abuonum Ufenne, the INEC’s Electoral Officer in Omu-Aran, described void votes as when a voter thump print on a party logo instead of the box provided, thump printing in an unclear manner and casting a blank ballot paper.
Others are smearing ballot papers with ink or squeezing, thump printing in a manner that makes voters decision unclear as well as writing or signing on a ballot paper.
Ufenne, who used the opportunity to appeal for stakeholders’ partnership toward sustaining the nation’s democratic system, also expressed the commission’s readiness to conduct free, fair and credible elections.
Alhaji Sodiq Afolayan, the Chief Imam of Omu-Aran Central mosque and Elder Gabriel Awolaoye, Public Relations Officer of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Irepodun LGA chapter in their separate remarks urged youths to be promoter of peace and unity at all times.
Oba Abdulraheem Adeoti, the Olomu of Omu-Aran, also pledged the support of the traditional institution toward ensuring a violence free and credible poll.
He advised religious leaders and parents to be alive to their responsibilities through their preaching and parental counselling in modeling the lives of the younger generation for them to effectively assume the mantle of leadership in the future.
JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!
Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: