Stakeholders in Bauchi state have described women as critical stakeholders in any political process likely to guarantee fairness, credibility and racour-free elections.
Mr Ibrahim Abdullah, INEC Resident National Electoral Commissioner, said this in Bauchi state, at a sensitization program held in the state.
Abdullah said the program was held in collaboration with Centre for Information Technology And Development (CITAD) with women groups and gender focused Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Bauchi state.
Represented by the Admin Secretary, Mr Baba Usman, Abdullah, said the support of every woman was crucial in the conduct of a fair, free and credible general election.
“Encourage your husbands, your friends, children and neighbours to come out and fully participate in this general elections coming up on the 16th of February for the presidential and National Assembly.
“Make sure you do the same on 2nd of March for governorship and state Houses of Assembly.
“I also solicit your support to admonish our children to desist from all forms of election malpractices,” he added.
The REC used the forum to educate participant on how to fold their ballot papers after they might have thumb printed without smearing the ballot paper which could render their vote void and invaid.
He said because the commission was concerned more about women in the forthcoming elections, “ hence, they have been given priority in all electoral processes from voters card registration to collection of PVCs.
“I would like to use this avenue to urge all eligible women to come out in multitude and persuade their husbands to come out to vote”, he said.
Abdullah noted that if elections were successful, it was because different stakeholders like women were involved in the process.
Naomi Yusuf, INEC Gender Desk Officer, in Bauchi state, said that part of the aim of the program was to sensitize women on the need for their increased participation in all electoral processes in 2019 general elections.
She said it had become imperative for women to be enlightened on their rights especially, on election day and to be able to ask questions about INEC’s preparedness to conduct hitch free election.
The program is also `‘to create a platform for women to speak on the issues related to elections and electoral processes and to create a window for women to know and understand their challenges during voting.
Also speaking the programme officer CITAD Bauchi Mr Mohammed Chiroma explained that the meeting was aimed at enhancing women’s participation in the forthcoming elections ‘because they constitute high number of voters.
Stressing that women constitute high number of voters at all levels.
He urged them to step down the message to other women in their respective areas.
On her part Mrs Maduneme Francisca INEC principal officer Abuja commended the efforts of the stakeholders for sensitisation of women on election process.
She urged the women to take advantage of the knowledge and awareness received to also sensitize other women in their immediate communities on the need for women participation in elections process.