By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja
THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has advised Nigerians to pay attention to details of the campaign manifestoes of candidates for the 2023 elections, saying it will help them to make informed decisions.
The Commission gave the charge during the final stage of the Voter Education Innovative Dragons’ Den Competition in Abuja on Wednesday.
The contest was jointly organised by the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).
Speaking, INEC’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Victor Aluko, who was represented by Ms. Dorathy Inyang, said: “As you are aware, the campaign starts today (Wednesday), September 28, and we are telling Nigerians to pay attention to the manifesto of political parties and what each candidate has to offer so that they can make their informed choices.”
According to Aluko, the electoral body is already working hard in educating and enlightening the electorates on how to effectively participate in the electoral process, but required the collaboration of civil society groups to complement its efforts.
“Considering the size of the nation, all hands, therefore, should be on deck to provide voter education.
“Top on the lists of these who are to be involved in these are registered civil society organisations who have passions in civic responsibilities to educate the citizens to be alive to their responsibilities to issues like voting,” he said.
Aluko also disclosed that Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) for persons captured in the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise would be ready between October and November.
He said the Commission would enhance greater participation of persons living with disabilities during the election.
“As it is right now, PVCs are being distributed at all INEC local government offices and there is actually a timetable, voters that registered from 2011 to January 19, 2021, their PVCs are ready because their collection started in August.
“For those who registered between June 2021, and January 2022, their PVCs would be ready next month October and for those that registered in July 2022, their PVCs would be ready in November 2022”, he added.
Earlier, the Deputy Country Director, IFES, Ukeh Obaje, urged INEC to improve on the successes recorded during the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections.
He said that the competition was organised for the civil society groups in the country to pitch innovative proposals for effective and inclusive voter education campaigns in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.
According to him, the project seeks to identify innovative ideas that can help improve voter education and participation in the forthcoming elections.
Obaje said: “We have a total of 20 civil Society Organisations here today. IFES had earlier in June put out a call for proposal for innovative ideas around voter education. We are looking at how we can improve voter education and participation across the country.
“We got a total of 70 applications which was pruned down to 20. We expect every organisation to make their live presentation around their ideas in which six of them, one from each geo-political zones would be selected for the project. We are also going to give them grant for them to implement their ideas.”