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Fear of rigging, responsible for low turn-out in elections- DG NOA

By Baba Shehu Oscu,  Bauchi
The Director General National Orientation Agency (NOA) Dr Garba Abari has asserted that fear of election rigging contributes to apathy and low turn-out of voters in most elections in the country.
He made the assertion in Bauchi recently  during the opening ceremony of a two day zonal workshop for citizen groups drawn from the North East States  on civic and voter education a head of February and March elections.
The NOA boss was represented at the occasion by a director in the agency Mr David Akoji, where he  said   elections in Nigeria in the past  are characterised by large numbers of voided votes as well as the disturbing trend of vote buying, hence the need for continuous voter education to the citizens.
” It is often the case that majority of voters, most of whom reside in rural areas are not exposed to adequate voter education so as to equip them with the knowledge to exercise their civic rights by voting correctly at elections.
“Many of our electorates express frustration and fear that their votes will not count. This no doubt contributes largely to low voter turn out at most elections.
” It is in recognition of these challenges and the need to commence the process of capacity building for citizens groups in the 36 states of the federation as well as the federal capital territory towards getting them to actively participate in the process of sensitizing citizens in their communities of operation, that the National Orientation Agency undertook the task of mapping of citizens groups in the 36 states and the FCT as a critical step towards nominating participants for the capacity building workshop on civic responsibility which is happening today, ” he pointed out.
Also speaking,  the District Head of Bauchi, Alhaji Nuru Adamu Jumba said without proper sensitization to citizens on the electoral process especially on how to handle ballot papers on election day, there would be more invalid votes and cancellations of results which might affect the success of the 2019 elections.
He therefore commended NOA for organising the workshop and cautioned security agencies against interfering in electoral process saying their duty is only to provide security for both the electorates and INEC officials.
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