By Sunny A. David, Awka
Anambra State Directorate of the National Orientation Agency, (NOA), said it will commence a simultaneous mobilization of voters in the 21 local government areas and 326 wards Friday.
The State Director of the Agency, Barrister Charles Nworji, stated this at the flag-off of the campaign against invalid votes held at the Awka South Council Headquarters, Amawbia.
The one-day voter education campaign against invalid votes in next month’s general elections, was organized for stakeholders in the electoral process including civil society groups, representatives of political parties, paramilitary agencies, women groups, and town union leaders, amongst other participants.
Speaking on the necessity of the proposed programme, Barrister Nworji noted that the simultaneous voter mobilization will focus on eliminating the incidence of invalid votes, vote buying and selling, as well as ensuring the conduct of violence-free elections in Anambra state.
The State’s NOA boss also bemoaned the issue of invalid and void votes during elections, arguing that the ugly trend, among other setbacks, negates all efforts the voters have made to participate in the election, including long hours spent registering as a voter and queuing up to vote on the election day.
In a presentation on “Critical Voter Information for Citizens’ Active Participation in Twenty-nineteen General Election, with Special Emphasis on Elimination of Void Votes”, the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Doctor Nkwachukwu Orji, represented by the Commission’s Public Relations Officer, Lady Nneka Eluogu, said the event was crucial because of the vital role of voter education in electioneering, and stated that the INEC will, today, commence ward level distribution of Permanent Voter Cards in the state, to ensure that no voter is left behind in the voting process.
The Deputy Director, Programmes, of NOA, and President General, Nnokwa Progress Union, Sir. Joseph Uchendu, said that the aim of the sensitization is to enlighten voters on the need to adhere to the rules guiding voting especially those at the rural levels, adding that the agency is poised for efficient voter education that crisscrosses all electioneering phases.
The one-day voter education programme had interactive sessions with participants on complex electoral issues and related topics, as well as short dramas to drive home the central message of the programme.
By Sunny A. David, Awka