2019 GENERAL ELECTION IN NIGERIA VOTER’S EDUCATION

THE INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (INEC) IN CONJUNCTION WITH WOMEN, CHILD, YOUTH, HEALTH AND EDUCATION INITIATIVE (WCY) EMBARKED ON VOTER EDUCATION IN DARAZO LGA OF BAUCHI STATE IN THE 2019 GENERAL ELECTION

The role of voter education in any electoral process cannot be Overemphasized. It is very crucial to the success of any election. Election in a democratic system offers a unique opportunity to the electorate to exercise their franchise by voting in candidates of their choice into office. Since the attainment of independence, electoral fraud has remained a difficult issue in Nigeria.

Election in Nigeria since 1999 have been reportedly characterized by widespread and monumental electoral malpractices and irregularity. Since the enthronement of the current democratic order, almost all the elections in this country, have been characterized by huge electoral violence, intimidation, manipulation of electoral commission and security agencies, election rigging, multiple voting, hijacking of ballot boxes, vote buying etc.
Voters’ education is very essential in any democratic system especially for women who are less educated and poor, but constitute the large proportion of voters in Nigeria. Proper orientation of these set of  electorate on the essence of casting their vote and involvement in democratic system of our country, will not only bring about high level of motivation, encouragement in the electorate but will also make them have confidence in government and will no doubt lead to a sustainable democratic system in our country, Nigeria.
Successful voters’ education ensures that voters are ready, willing, and able to participate fully in the election process. Voters’ education is essential in ensuring voters are well-informed and can effectively exercise their voting rights and express their political will on election day.
The electoral body, the Civil society organizations  as well as the media should be able to educate the electorate on how to vote, where to vote, who to vote, how a voter can verify his/her registration and how to prepare for voting.

In the light of the above, WCY was appointed by INEC to educate women and girls of voting age in Darazo Local Government Area of Bauchi State.

Below are the areas the women were educated (Language of Communication is Hausa Language):

THE VOTER- WHO IS HE/SHE?
• S/He is a Nigerian citizen.
• S/He is 18 years and above.
• S/He has registered in the constituency where he intends to vote.
• S/He possesses a registration card obtained during voters’ registration.

HOW VOTER CAN VERIFY REGISTRATION
• A voter is expected to check the register of voters to ascertain that his name is included.
• That his name was correctly spelt and written.
• This is done when the register is displayed for inspection.

PERSONS WHO CANNOT VOTE
• The following persons cannot vote at election.
• All persons below the age of 18 years.
• All non-Nigerians.
• All persons who did not register as voters.
• All persons who do not hold a voter registration card.
• All persons whose names are not in the voters register.

WHERE TO VOTE
• Voting takes place at polling stations/units.
• A voter is expected to cast his/her vote at the polling unit where his name is on the voter  register.
• A voter is expected to identify his polling station where his name is on the voter register.
• A polling unit nearest to the residence of the voter.

HOW TO VOTE:
• Voting will be by Open Secret Ballot System.
• Your vote is secret because no one will see which candidate you choose.
• You will mark your ballot behind a polling screen secretly.
• Apply your finger print only in one circle/space which corresponds to the candidate of your choice.

PROCEDURE: PREPARING FOR VOTING:
• The Presiding Officer (PO) shall:
• Explain the voting procedure to the voters.
• Invite all voters accredited to form a single queue.
• Where culture does not allow men and women to mingle in a queue, separate queues are created for men and women.
• The PO shall count loudly the number of accredited voters in the queue, and record the number.

COMMENCEMENT OF VOTING:
• At the commencement of voting, the PO shall:
• Invite the voters on queue to approach the poll clerk (PC) in an orderly manner.
• On presentation of voter’s card, the PC shall:
• Check appropriate cuticle thumbnail of voter and when he is satisfied that the person has been duly accredited.
• Tick the voters’ register on the right hand side of voter’s name.
• Indicating that he has voted.
• Apply indelible ink on the cuticle of the voter’s appropriate thumbnail.
• The Poll Assistant (PA) shall apply ink to the next finger of the respective hand
• Voters who have no Right/Left hand, the PA shall:
• Apply the ink to the corresponding toes of the voter’s Right/Left foot.
• Voters have neither fingers nor toes:
• Ink shall be applied on the corresponding toes of the persons assisting them.

ISSUANCE OF BALLOT PAPER AND VOTING:
• The voter shall present himself to the Polling official (PO).
• The PO  shall stamp and sign the back of ballot paper.
• Fold the ballot paper vertically with the printed side inwards.
• Issue the signed, stamped ballot paper to the voter.
• The voter moves to the voting cuticle.
• Mark the ballot paper in the space provided beside the party logo of the voters’ choice
• Fold the ballot paper.
• Deposit the marked ballot paper into the ballot box.
• Marking of ballot paper by voter must be done in secret.
• Depositing the ballot paper in the ballot box in open view of all persons present.
• Only one voter at a time to the voting cubicle.

OFFENCES ON ELECTION DAY:
PART VIII SC. 129 (1) states that:
1. No person shall on the date an election is held do any of the following acts or things in a polling unit or within a distance of 300 metres of a polling unit-
(a) Canvass for votes;
(b) Solicit for the vote of any voter
(c) Persuade any voter not to vote for any particular candidate;
(d) Persuade any voter not to vote at any election;
(e) Shout slogans concerning the election;
(f) Be in possession of any offensive weapon or wear any dress or have any facial or other decoration which in any event is calculated to intimidate voters;
(g) Exhibit, wear or tender any notice, symbol photograph or party card referring to the election;
(h) Use any vehicle bearing the colour or symbol of a political party by any means whatever;
(i) Loiter without lawful excuse after voting or after being refused to vote;
(j) Snatch or destroy any election materials; and
(k) Blare siren
“Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of this section commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of N100,000 or imprisonment for 6 months for every such offence”.

 

                          Educating over 2000 women @ Gidan Gwona Primary School, Darazo

ED interacting with Information Officer and Director ESD Darazo LGA

WCY TEAM

 

WCY ED AND DIRECTOR ESD DARAZO LGA

WCY Team @ Govt.Day Girls Secondary School Darazo