By David Adeoye
Ibadan – The Vanguard for Better Living, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), says effective sensitisation of the electorate will reduce challenges of void votes.
Mr Julius Aderinwale, coordinator of the NGO, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Ibadan.
Aderinwale noted that cases of large number of voided votes has been a major challenge in the previous elections.
According to him, the recent gubernatorial election in Ekiti State has shown that a lot of the electorate still lack basic voter education.
“It was reported that not less than 18,000 voided votes were recorded during the July 14 election in Ekiti State.”
He alleged that the huge figure could be attributed to illiteracy and ineffective voter education carried out by the electoral body.
“It is high time the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) re-energises its voter education department and begin effective sensitisation of the electorate on proper ways to thumb print on ballot papers.
“The commission should involve agencies of government such as National Orientation Agency (NOA) and civil society groups,” he said.
The coordinator stressed the need to prioritise the sensitisation of voters by the electoral body before the next general elections, to enhance the credibility of the polls.
He further implored leaders of political parties to collaborate with INEC on voter education, stressing that the job should be a collective one.
On the report of large number of unclaimed Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in the custody of INEC, Aderinwale adviced the commission to collaborate with traditional rulers, religious leaders and other stakeholders for owners of the PVCs to be aware.
He implored the general public to show more interest in electoral processes, saying that involvement of all and sundry would make credible candidates victorious in the elections.