Ekiti 2022: Group deploys 60 women observers, seeks violence-free poll

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The Women’s Situation Room Nigeria (WSRN) has deployed 60 women observers in the 16 Local Government Areas of Ekiti for the June 18 governorship elections in the state.

The National Coordinator of the group, Prof. Philomena Zamani, made the announcement at a news conference on Thursday in Ado-Ekiti.

Zamani said the women observers in collaboration with UN Women and the government of Canada were expected to observe the elections from a gender-based perspective.

She said the group during elections usually insisted on inclusion and participation of women, transparency of the process and prevention of violence against women.

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Zamani said the group had been giving necessary  attention to the governorship election being the first major election to be conducted using the newly signed Electoral Act.

The coordinator said that the election would provide an opportunity for assessing the implementation of the new act.

“More so, it will be the second governorship election to be conducted using the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System.

“The election will also serve as a litmus test to assess the role of security agencies, commitment of political parties to electoral integrity, stakeholders’ engagement and citizens’ participation, ahead of the 2023 general elections,” she said.

Zamani expressed her delight with the peace pact signed by candidates contesting the election, saying it would go a long way to reduce the current tension across the state, arising from the election.

She said the group had also organised advocacy visits to relevant stakeholders on how to build strategic partnerships, especially as the election drew nearer.

According to her, the group has also identified some flash points in the state through incident reports received through its toll-free lines and rapid assessments, conducted through various media reports.

She listed some of the identified flash points to include: Ikere, Ado-Ekiti, Ido-Osi Omuo, Efon Alaye and Ilupeju.

Zamani commended women in the state for achieving 71 per cent record in the collection of permanent voter cards.

She charged the Independent National Electoral Commission to uphold impartiality, fairness and ensure that persons with disabilities were protected.

The WSRN boss also tasked security agencies to uphold their duty of protection of lives and property, charging political parties to maintain peace before, during and after the elections.

Mrs Sola Adeluyi, Permanent Secretary, Ekiti State Ministry of Women Affairs, in her goodwill message, said the ministry had organised sensitisation programmes and sponsored jingles toward achieving credible and violence- free governorship election in the state.

Adeluyi, who was represented by Mrs Helen Akomolafe, a Deputy Director in the Ministry, said the ministry would continue to partner with the group to achieve desired objectives.

The Secretary, Council of Oloris in Ekiti State, Olori Tolu Omiyelu in her remarks, said that women in the state were ready to take up responsibilities in moving the state forward.

She said the council had been doing its best to ensure that women in the state were accorded respect and recognition.

The highlight of the event was the inauguration of the Ekiti State Governorship Election Women Situation Observatory Room and presentation of souvenirs to the women observers. (NAN) 

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