Home Top Stories Violence Against Women: FIDA Calls For Strategic Deployment Of Security Personnel Across176,...

Violence Against Women: FIDA Calls For Strategic Deployment Of Security Personnel Across176, 606 Polling Units


By Chibuike Nwabuko

Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Ahead of Saturday’s (tomorrow) governorship and States Assembly elections, FIDA Nigeria has called for strategic deployment of security personnel across the176, 606 polling units of the states toward forestalling any form of violence at the polls which will limit the participation of women in the general elections.

The women group noted that sufficient deployment of security personnel will checkmate all forms of
Gender Based violence that may impede the credibility of the poll.

The Country Vice President/National President, Mrs Amina Agbaje made the call on Friday during the pre-election statement held at Nicon Luxury Hotel, Garki Abuja.

This election marks the fourth major election conducted following the enactment
of the Electoral Act 2022 after the Ekiti and Osun states off-cycle Governorship Elections and
just concluded Presidential & National Assembly Elections conducted on the 25th of February
2023 which was characterized by a lot of shortcomings with several issues ranging from late
arrival of electoral materials at several polling units across the country.

She noted that the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections experienced some technical hitches caused due to failure/slow pace of the bimodal voters accreditation system which led to the disenfranchisement of a lot of Nigeria Voters
inclusive of women, reported incidence of violence, failure of transmission of results from the
polling units, which albeit others affected the credibility of the poll.

Adding that the major fallout of the elections witnessed women low representation in the forthcoming 10th National Assembly as only 16 female candidates amounting to about 6% won elective positions out of 378 female contestants. We have witnessed only 3 women wining seats in the Nigeria Senate, while 13 winning seats in the Federal Houses of Representative. This, she said has clearly reiterated the fact that Nigeria’s democratic experience has not expanded opportunities for meaningful participation and representation of women in politics and governance and a reduction in participatory elective positions for females.

Mrs agbaje further informed that FIDA Nigeria with support from UNWomen and the Government of Canada under Advance Women Political Participation Project will observe the participation of women alongside forms of violence perpetrated against women in the 2023 Governorship and States House of Assembly elections through her 77 INEC accredited observers deployed across 66 polling units in four focal States. She said that an election monitoring tool will be administered by their accredited observers at the respective
polling units while leveraging on partnerships with other civil society actors in observing, documenting, and reporting women participation and incidences of violence perpetrated against women.

According to FIDA Country Vice President, the statistics from the Independent National Electoral Commission indicate that about 10,636
candidates are participating in Gubernatorial and States Houses of Assembly nationwide. 419
persons have been sponsored as Governorship and Deputy Governorship Candidates, while,
10,217 candidates are contesting for seats in House of Assembly. However, only about 1,178
females constituting about 11.07% are contesting as candidates.

While FIDA Nigeria said it looks forward to INEC providing electoral materials timeously towards
ensuring effective and seamless participation of women at the polls, it urged key actors in the electoral processes particularly INEC, political
parties, security agencies, mass media and Civil Society Organisations to pay increasing
attention to factors limiting women participation ahead of the Governorship and State Houses
of Assembly electio tomorrow.

In view of what it observed in the last election, FIDA Nigeria made the following recommendations:

-Deployment of Electoral materials (Sensitive & Non –Sensitive) across all Registration Area Centers and polling units timeously is key for an improved political participatory process for women.

-Effective collaboration and synergy with other stakeholders especially INEC, Security agencies and Election Observation Groups should be cultivated and sustained.

-Security agencies to continually adhere to the principles of impartiality and neutrality toward securing the polls which will help in mitigating electoral violence especially those perpetuated against women in elections.

Mrs Agbaje also said that FIDA Nigeria will make known it’s findings and observations after the election on Saturday.

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