The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called for more efforts on educating the electorates especially in the rural areas on proper voting patterns to tackle high cases of voided votes during elections.
The NOA Director General, Dr Garba Abari, made the call at a voter education campaign ahead of 2019 general elections on Thursday in Sokoto.
Abari, represented by Malam Balarabe Gambo emphasised the need for increased stakeholders’ partnership to enlighten voters on proper voting modalities.
He decried increased percentage of voided votes in previous elections, noting that no fewer than 42, 110 voided votes were recorded in Sokoto state during 2015 elections.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) results indicated that no fewer than 844, 519 voided votes were recorded during 2015 elections,” Abari said.
“The cause of rejected votes has been attributed to lack of adequate continuous voter education especially in the rural areas by political parties and other stakeholders,” he added.
He explained that NOA embarked on voter sensitization to ensure that the electorates are adequately prepared to vote correctly.
“NOA mobilises its workers across the 774 local government areas in the federation to educate people on reducing challenges of voided votes, peaceful conduct of elections and dangers of vote buying,” the DG said.
According to him, necessary measures were designed by INEC and other stakeholders to ensure that all votes count.
He assured people that government, security agencies and all relevant organizations have braced up for peaceful conduct of elections and urged the electorates to adhere to regulations.
The NOA Director in Sokoto state, Alhaji Maude Danchadi said arrangements were made to sensitise the people at the grassroots across the state.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Alhaji Musa Sadiq, assured that adequate arrangements were made on sensitization as well as smooth conduct of the elections.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, represented by Alhaji Aliyu Hassan, Ubandoman Arkilla, assured INEC of traditional rulers’ support for the exercise and commended the organizers.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that representatives of security agencies, women and youths groups as well as Non Governmental Organizations presented their different roles on election duties.