Ahead of the general election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in collaboration with the center for peace education and community development (CEPEACECODE), on Saturday trained hundreds of Taraba women on the voting process and how to participate more actively in the coming election.
The state’s resident electoral commissioner, Alhaji Abba Baba Yusuf, who described women as one of the most important stakeholders in the electoral process, said that “the training had become imperative to ensure that this vast section of the society is not left out of the process as a result of ignorance or general apathy.”
Yusuf assured the women that each and every vote that is rightly cast would count, as INEC is poised to turn the electoral process around for good.
Mrs Edna Hilary Kaigama, the gender desk officer at INEC, while addressing the workshop, said that it was aimed at facilitating a good outing for women at the election and to make sure that votes of women count.
While responding on behalf of the various women groups that were represented at the workshop, the state chairperson of National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), Mrs Punarimam Atenji, thanked the electoral commission and CEPEACECODE for organising the training and paying particular attention to women.
Atenji said that the priority attention given to pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as the aged and disabled during the election, would not only encourage mass turnout and participation of women at the exercise, but is a positive step in reshaping public action towards women and other vulnerable sections of society. She urged women to see the election their “only chance to speak out loudly to be heard and make their impact felt.”
Other speakers at the training urged women to keep a close watch on their children in the days leading up to, during and after the election, to make sure that they are not lured into taking up arms as thugs or to be used by self serving politicians to rig and disrupt the electoral process.