ASABA – Dame Gesila Khan, Resident Electoral Commissioner in Delta, said the INEC was determined to take voter education to the rural communities to enhance free, fair and credible elections in 2015.
She said this while inaugurating the State Inter-Agency Advisory Committee on Voter Education and Publicity (DSCVEP).
According to her, the bulk of those who vote during elections in the country reside in the rural areas.
Khan said that it was this category of people that actually required the voter education.
She directed the committee to come out with modalities to address the challenges of voter apathy and void votes.
According to Khan if the issues of void votes can be addressed and reduced to the barest minimum, there will be no electoral violence after any election.
She said that if the people in the rural areas were properly educated on how to vote there would not be cases of void votes.
Khan said available statistics had shown that a good number of votes had been voided in past elections because of wrong thumb printing by voters.
“If we properly educate the rural communities alongside those in the urban centres the subsequent elections in the state and the country at large will be better than the past ones.
“The commission realises that there is a co-relation between an enlightened and well informed electorate and the success of any election.
“Our inauguration of the DISVEP today is one of the strategies in our Action Plan 2012 to 2016 focused on the preparations that will facilitate free, fair and credible elections in 2015,” Khan said.
She said permanent voters’ card would be distributed to registered voters from July 18 while the continuous voter registration would run from July 23 to July 27 in the state.
Also the South South INEC Supervising National Commissioner, Dr Ismal Igbani, advised the committee to arouse public interest in the electoral process and their involvement in the election of political leaders.
“The committee is expected to bring voters into the current best practices in voter education.
“The voters must be fully informed and educated about all electoral activities to enable them make informed choices,” Igbani said.
Responding on behalf of the committee, the state Director of National Orientation Agency, Mr Isaac Ezechi, assured INEC that the committee would utilise its structure to ensure the success of 2015 elections.
The membership of the committee was drawn from about 20 national and state institutions, civil society groups and the disabled persons among others. (NAN)