A Non-Governmental organization, Connected Development has called on electorates in Kogi State to ensure they collect their permanent voters card to enable them exercise their power and civics responsibility in 2023 general election and beyond.
The Chief Executive, connected Development, Ambassador Hamza Lawal made the call at the weekend in his Country home Okene at an empowerment of over 400 Women programme as part of sensitisation advocacy to the grassroots on the need to sustain the existing peace and collection of Permanent Voter’s Cards.
Lawal,an international Election monitor explained to electorates that possession of permanent voters card is the only weapon they have to effect genuine Change and install good governance in the country.
The program was organized by a Civil Society Organization , Connected Development and was held at Ahogede community in Okene local government area of Kogi state.
Addressing the beneficiaries during the sensitization, Ambassador Lawal, said the empowerment is a token to appreciate women for their support in ensuring that the community remain peaceful at all time.
According to him, he was in Okene town to commence a two weeks sensitization advocacy for the collection of Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) and also to educate the electorate ahead of 2023 general election on the need for them to shun vices that can cause crises.
He pointed out that whenever there is any crisis, the people most often affected are women and children and therefore urged women leaders and mobilizers in election affairs to contribute their quota toward ensuring peace in the community.
“As a mobilizer working with grassroots , my simple message is that where there is peace , the bridges of peace and prosperity are women. As we are going into elections mothers should talk to their children that we must maintain peace in Kogi state.
“And now that the PVCs are ready, we should mobilize women door to door to sensitize them on the need for them to collect their cards from INEC office in their respective local government areas.
“It is obvious that the highest percentage of people that participated actively during elections are women and youth , and as such they should take ownership of the political dispensation for the purpose of creating better future for themselves”
Ambassador Lawal who emphasized that there is no alternative to peace, charged Nigerians to work with INEC to overcome the existing barriers in the conduct of free, fair and credible elections .
“I am urging INEC to be proactive in attending to the feedback from the people so that the 2023 general elections can be conducted under a conducive atmosphere. I am assuring the electoral umpire that CSOs and Nigerians are ready to assist the commission to deliver on their mandate as provided in the country’s constitution.
” I am also assuring Nigerians that in the forthcoming elections votes will count with the current introduction of BVAS, the issue of ballot box snatching and thumb printing will be a thing of the past” he assured.
Ambassador Lawal described vote buying and selling as a great threat to the political development of Nigeria and urged voters , especially women to resist any attempt by money bags politicians to deceive them with rice, cloth, maggi and money at the detriment of their future.
“As a mobilizer working with grassroots , my simple message is that if politicians that are corrupt come to you to induce you with petty items, you should reject their offers.
“During election do not collect money rather vote on issues, listen to them and ask them salient question”.
In his comment , a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kogi central Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar Karaku appealed to electorate both young and old to allow peace to rain during elections and cautioned the youth not to allow themselves to be used as agents of crises during elections.
“I am also lending my voice to the continuous calls by Ambassador Lawal that people should go out and collect their PVC because no body of voting age will be allow by INEC to vote on election day without PVC and if you don’t have the card how can you vote for the candidates of your choice during elections.
“Am using this medium to appeal to INEC to organize themselves and take the PVCs to wards for easy distribution so that people will not have reason for not collecting your PVC” he said.