Within the purview of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance (EU-SDGN) programme in Nigeria, the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) in collaboration with the Gender Division of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) jointly organized a two day “Training of Trainers on Women to Women Voter Education” on 5th – 6th December 2018 in Owerri, Imo State. The objective of the training was to ensure an increased participation of women in the electoral processes and provide the tools for participants to view elections from a gender perspective, as well as build their capacity to deliver on voter education sensitization across Imo State.
The Imo State Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Francis C. Ezeonu represented by the Administrative Secretary of Imo State division, Barr T.O Ongele, in his welcome remarks appreciated NWTF and described the two day training for women as very timely and one that will equip women and young women with knowledge of voter education and how they can effectively participate in future elections especially the 2019 General Elections. He voiced his confidence that the knowledge acquired will go a long way in boosting the effective participation of women in the electoral processes. He also stated that there are still over five hundred thousand uncollected Permanent Voters’ Card (PVCs) in Imo State which the women can also disseminate information about to the electorate for collection.
The Chief Executive Officer of NWTF, Ms. Mufuliat Fijabi, stated that the training was geared towards advancing the participation of women in the electoral process and a collaboration with INEC in its drive towards an increased voter education sensitization targeted at women in the lead up to the 2019 General Elections. She explained that the training is part of the activities of the #OurVoteCountsNG project being implemented with the overall objective to increase the participation of women, youth and other marginalized groups in the electoral process in Nigeria. Ms. Fijabi added that it will enhance the knowledge of participants on civic and voter education which is crucial for democratic consolidation.
The two-day training on voter education will be followed immediately by a step down exercise with each of the 15 women trained reaching out to 50 women each across the three Senatorial districts of Imo State. A total of 750 women will be reached directly and several more indirectly during the exercise.