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INEC had equal representation of women at Osun election – GEW

Bukola Afeni
The  Gender and Election Watch (GEW), an initiative of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) has  observed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had almost equal representation of young women and men as ad-hoc staff in Osun gubernatorial elections.
The group noted that  out of the 267 ad-hoc staff sighted at the polling units where observation took place, it was observed that 138 were males, while 129 were females representing
The statement which was released by the Gender and Election Watch (GEW), an initiative of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) was signed by Mufuliat Fijabi, the Chief Executive Officer.
According to the Gender and Election Watch( GEW) the conduct of the election with the implementation of the INEC guidelines on priority voting was observed in several polling units.
“It was observed that aged people, pregnant women, nursing mothers and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) were given priority attention to cast their votes.  However, at PU 001 ward 3, Iwo LGA, there was no priority voting for pregnant and nursing mothers. Additionally, at Unit 3 Ward 1, Isaleoba Iwo LGA, there was no priority queue for the aged, PWDs, nursing mothers and pregnant women.”
“Similarly, at PU 006 ward 08, Osogbo with registered voters of 1,861 it was gathered that there was priority voting for PWDs, but the polling unit was not easily accessible. In addition, at Ward 2 unit 5, Iwo LGA”. She added.
The Chief Executive Officer added that People With Disabilities (PWDs) were attended to first before other voters. Nonetheless, some of these polling units were not accessible to the PWDs.
” Although,  NWTF GEW spotted only one PWD who was also an Adhoc Staff at Unit 004 Ward 05, Ejigbo LGA. The Election was said to be peaceful as it was observed  that In most polling units, security officers arrived early, were orderly and prevented potential arguments that could have disrupted the election.”
 “It was also observed that, the conduct of the security personnel was an added value to the election as it gave confidence to the electorate to come out to demonstrate their franchise. The conduct of the voters was mostly organized and peaceful.”
“However, at PU 004 Owode Community Primary School Ward 05, Alusekere in Ede North LGA, the polling officer was not available at some point, and the polling unit became rowdy. Even though, it was later resolved with additional deployment of security personnel and presence of an INEC supervisor.” She added.
The Nigerian Women Trust Fund’s Gender and Election Watch (NWTF GEW) concludes that the turn out of the electorate in the Osun governorship election was impressive.
 “Also, the BVAS functionality was  commendable and a signal to better performance at the 2023 general elections.  Similarly, the group further lauded the  Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) early deployment of ad-hoc staff and materials.”
The Nigerian Women Trust Fund’s GEW commended the good people of Osun state, especially the women, elderly and the PWDs for their commitment to the electoral growth of the nation by coming out to elect the candidate of their choice in the Osun State governorship election.

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