Ondo Guber: REC urges 18 AEOs Admin, VEDOs to educate voters to raise bar of election credibility

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By Joy Odor

Oluwatoyin Babalola, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Independent Electroal Commission (INEC) Ondo State on Tuesday urged the Eighteen (18) Electoral Officers and Assistant Electoral Officers (AEOs Admin) cum Voter Education Desk Officers at the LGAs, (VEDOs) to create massive awareness and educate voters in their respective Local Government Areas to raise the bar of credibility in the upcoming 16th November 2024 Governorship Election in the State.

The REC emphasized that the effective participation of citizens in elections is crucial for the credibility of the polls.

She made this known in her address at an Implementation Meeting in Akure, the Ondo State capital where the Commission’s Voter Education and Publicity Strategies were discussed.

The REC informed that for an election to be considered free, fair, credible and inclusive, citizens must be able to participate in it adequately and easily.

“They must be sufficiently equipped with the requisite information to enhance their participation.”

“To achieve the above, all hands must be on deck to ensure that voter enlightenment is taken to the grassroots.

“Voters must understand their roles, rights, and responsibilities in electoral activities and deepening democracy,“ she added.

“As the Commission consistently demonstrated its commitment to develop and sustain structures that support the deepening of democratic practices, we must continue to raise the bar of credible elections in Nigeria.”

“You’ll all agree with me that elections cannot be said to be credible without adequate and effective participation of a significant proportion of voters.

“As field officers in charge of our Local Government Offices, you must understand the Commission’s enlightenment programmes and possess the professional and intellectual capacity to create awareness, enlighten voters and by extension boost public confidence in the electoral process and the Commission” she noted.

Outlining the objectives of the meeting, the Director of Voter Education and Publicity Department, Mary Nkem affirmed that the public depends on the Commission for information regarding the electoral process to help them not only to participate in concert with extant guidelines and regulations but to reaffirm their confidence in the readiness and ability of the Election Management Body (EMB) to conduct free, fair, credible, inclusive and acceptable elections.

She explained that the meeting would enable participants to identify potential challenges or obstacles that might arise during the implementation process and to address these issues proactively ahead of time.

“It will also ensure that we are all on the same page and have a clear understanding of our roles and responsibilities leading up to the election.

“It is therefore crucial that we work together seamlessly to ensure a smooth and successful execution of the outlined activities to achieve a successful election process,” the Director added.

In her remark, the State Director for the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mrs Adelayo Adefalalu ably represented by Mr. Akinde Babatunde commended the initiative of the Implementation Meeting stating that it is crucial and vital for the conduct of the election.

The Director NOA stressed that “all hands must be on deck because all eyes are on Ondo State and we must get it right to change the people’s perception and mindset towards the electoral process. We are ready to collaborate with INEC to ensure the Ondo State Governorship Election is free, fair, credible, and acceptable”

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