Civil Society Organisations in Ekiti state have made a commitment to mobilise first time voters to participate in the upcoming Governorship elections on June 18th in the State. The commitment was extracted from the representative CSO leaders in the state during the Parallel Vote Tabulation Academy organised by Yiaga Africa in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital on 27th April.
Yiaga Africa’s Head of Elections, Paul James said that the academy was convened to expose CSOs to Yiaga Africa’s election observation methodology and how the organisation intends to deploy Parallel Vote Tabulation to observe the Ekiti Governorship election. According to him, the program exposed CSOs to the role of citizens in providing oversight on the electoral process, saying the 30 organisations in attendance are the voice of the people in the state. He added that the CSOs have a critical role to play when it comes to mobilising prospective voters to go out and get registered, collect their Permanent Voters Card and vote on election day.
He encouraged the CSOs to educate the citizens about preparatory activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission and other election stakeholders.
“For instance, the INEC has introduced 250 new polling units in Ekiti state. We expect the CSOs to identify locations of these new polling units and also help voters to identify the polling units,” he said.
He said CSOs can help the voters to engage better from a more informed perspective not to sit as armchair critics waiting for situations to go bad before spotting the challenges.
“We want the CSOs to be more proactive than reactive as we still have close to 2 months to the governorship elections. We can use this period to engage both the citizens and other election stakeholders to ensure we have a hitch-free election come June 18, 2023”, James concluded