ActionAid Nigeria laments disenfranchisement of women during 2023 polls

ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) has expressed concern that many women were disenfranchised during the just concluded 2023 Presidential election due to the late arrival of election materials, stating that women must be given the opportunity to vote during the gubernatorial polls.

The Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi, who stated this during the pre- gubernatorial election briefing in Abuja, called on the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to put in place modalities to ensure women, youths and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) are allowed to vote during the elections.

According to her, there is need to create awareness to ensure that women were not disenfranchised.

“We are calling on the INEC that those lapses that led to elections going into the night will not happen again, we hope that INEC write their wrongs,” she said.

Peaking further, she said: “If materials came on time and elections starts on time women won’t be disenfranchised. Women participation during the election was high, INEC should keep to the time of poll opening so that people are not kept for long.”

She called on the security agencies to protect women during the election especially women in politics and urged women not to give up in participating in politics saying they are fighting for our children and fighting for humanities.

She called on the Economy and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practice commission (ICPC)  to put their eyes on vote buying, saying issues of corruption should be tracked , the impunity must stop.

The Country Director also revealed that with support of Ford’s Foundation, ActionAid deployed 300 observers across 15 states while the Nigerian, Civil Society Situation Room, deployed 2,340 observers.

Speaking In the area of technology, INEC deployed the BVAS and expected to upload results on the IREV but did not envisage the network failure, she urged INEC to make alternative arrangements in technology.

She said that means if one fails, there should be a back up. “INEC should have anticipated a backup mechanism to upload result if there was a failure of one , there should be an alternative”.

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