By Urowayino Jeremiah
The National Association of Seadogs aka Pyrates confraternity, in continuation of its quest to ensure that the vote of every Nigerian Citizen eligible to vote counts, embarked on the second phase of the group’s electoral awareness campaign worldwide, tagged Our Votes Count under its Citizen’s Summit umbrella.
The awareness campaign took off Saturday 22 December 2018 at Hawkins Deck, its Egbeda/Alimosho chapter, with a road show that commenced with the distribution of awareness fliers and banners educating the public on how not to void their votes and procedures to take protect their votes after balloting.
Speaking during the takeoff of the campaign, Uche Nnoli, the Regional Vice President- Lagos, told Vanguard that the current effort is part of a grand campaign to ensure that no single vote is lost to ignorance or vote buying, according to him “For a very long time we have abdicated our responsibilities of electing a responsible leadership to happenstance but this time around we are determined to make sure that every single vote we cast matters. The first phase of the enlightenment campaign was to encourage citizens to go and register for their PCV while the group is utilising this second phase to educating the voting public on their rights and how to ensure that their votes count.”
Also in a chat with Vanguard after the awareness campaign that covered the whole of Alimosho Local Government, the Vice President of the Egbeda chapter of the association, Hassan Aidorolo, said that the feedback from the street interactions was as diverse as it came. “Largely the view of most of the voters spoken to was that they have lost confidence in the electoral process and are not going to bother themselves with going to vote as they believe that their votes would never count,” he said.
The exercise will continue until a few days to the election in February 2019, just as the report of the entire exercise would be compiled and sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. The Egbeda chapter partnered with the chapter in the Republic of Ireland.