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Group urge registered voters to participate in Ekiti elections

Bukola Afeni
The Gender and Election Watch (GEW), an initiative of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund and a member of the Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room has called on all registered voters in Ekiti state and women to turn out en- masse to participate in the elections on Saturday 18th June 2022.
While also urging INEC in line with its guidelines to ensure that there is unfettered access to all voters especially female voters with special needs.
The Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Women Trust Fund, Mufuliat Fijabi stated this in a press release.
She encouraged Ekiti State Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to sustain the drive based on its INEC Gender Policy towards a gender-responsive electoral process through the prompt collation of disaggregated data reflecting the number of female voters compared to male voters.
According to her, NWTF Gender and Election Watch (GEW) has deployed accredited and citizen observers across the Sixteen (16) Local Government Areas of Ekiti state for the State Governorship Election scheduled for tomorrow 18 June.
“We will observe and assess how all elements of an election process in the governorship election can affect women in general.
 We are  Ekiti State to observe the Ekiti State Governorship election scheduled for Saturday, 18 June 2022 from a gender angle.”
“This strategic initiative has been put in place to gather information and carry out analysis about women’s participation in the Ekiti election in comparison to men.
We are focused on INEC’s preparedness and the level of readiness of women to participate in the election.”
 “There is also close assessment against the background of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended. The NWTF GEW Room will also be observing the conduct of all relevant stakeholders from a gender aspect.”
The Chief Executive Officer also noted that the group conducted a pre-election observation, and noted the following :
“That there are Sixteen candidates in the 2022 Ekiti Governorship election compared to thirty-Five in the last governorship election of 2018. That of the sixteen (16) candidates contesting the governorship election, in 2022, there are only two, (2) female candidates representing only 12.5% of the total candidates.”
“This is a pointer to the extent of inclusion of women in Ekiti State Governorship election compared to the 2018 Governorship election where there was no female candidate. Of the Sixteen (16) Deputy Governorship Candidates Only Seven (7) are female candidates. This represents 43.8% of the Deputy Governorship candidates compared to the Ten, (10) female Deputy Governorship Candidates out of the Thirty – Five, (35)  in the 2018 Governorship election.”
The GEW also noted that there is a strong presence of armed security personnel in Ekiti state.
” We are appealing to security personnel to ensure that the atmosphere is calm to encourage the participation of all registered voters, especially women.
That all electoral stakeholders are guided by the 2022 INEC Guidelines on the Ekiti election.”

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