By OLA AJAYI, IBADAN
CHAIRMAN, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega has called on all Muslims across the country to allow women in Pudah to contest and vote in the 2011 elections.
According to him, the women in pudah are Nigerians who should not be denied their civic responsibilities.
He said these during the advocacy visits he paid to the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Samuel Odulana in his Monatan residence.
“Women in pudah are Nigerians and should be allowed to register, contest and vote. The virtue of women is in her. Please, let them perform their civic responsibilities”.
Speaking through Mrs. Margaret Ikunja, Director, Civil Society and Gender Desk, INEC, Abuja asked the monarch to advise his subjects to permit their wives and daughters of 18 years and above to come out and register to obtain their voters’ cards that would qualify them to vote during the election.
The INEC boss also advised that politicians should not confiscate the voters’ cards of their wives thereby disenfranchising them.
With some of the high chiefs of the monarch in attendance, Jega advised the youths across the country to shun violence and to refuse to be used for all forms of electoral violence by selfish politicians to truncate our nascent democracy.
He said, “as leaders of tomorrow, the youth should play patriotic roles to promote the advancement of our democracy”.
Since, the future of our country depends on the quality of our governance, he stressed that all hands must be on deck to ensure speedy development of sustainable democracy based on ethics and progressive ideologies occasioned by popular political participation.
Responding, Oba Olubadan promised to assist the commission in its quest for free, fair and credible election adding that the whole world is watching us and that since countries like Ghana conducted election that was adjudged free and fair, we should try to put all machinery in motion not to disappoint.
Olubadan hammered on the creation of Ibadan State saying it had all the qualities that could make it a state.