Post 9 March 2019 Governorship, State House of Assembly and Federal Capital Territory Area Council Elections Press Statement
In playing a critical role to provide Nigerians with accurate information on the integrity of the electoral process, the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) Gender and Election Watch (GEW) room deployed Two Hundred and Ninety (290) stationary observers across Nigeria to observe the elections process from a gender, transparent and accountable perspective.
Against the above background, NWTF GEW has noted with concerns the increased voter apathy, voter inducement, violence and the militarization of the electoral environment in the 9 March 2019 Governorship, State House of Assembly and Area Council Elections. These concerns have serious implications for Nigeria’s democracy from a gender perspective. NWTF GEW therefore wishes to state as follows:
– That women were mostly affected in the low voter turnout as most of them were reluctant to come out to perform their civic duty because of the militarize environment and the eruption of violence in some of the polling units in some states.
– That the few women who came out to vote were victims of voter inducement as some of them voted under instructions.
– That based on preliminary review, the performance of women in the 9 March 2019 Elections is quite low in most areas compared to the 23 February 2019 Presidential and National Assembly Elections and the 2015 General Elections which already recorded low level of women’s participation.
NWTF GEW room therefore calls on INEC and the relevant stakeholders to act fast to combat voter apathy and encourage the participation of women in the electoral process as candidates and as voters. In addition, INEC and relevant institutions should step up action to combat any form of voter inducement which often is caused by corruption and lack of accountability.
NWTF GEW room also calls on the security agencies not to militarize elections in order not to scare women away from elections and active participation in the electoral process. The security agencies also need to be more strategic in the management of electoral violence in order to reduce the occurrence of violence during elections.
NWTF GEW urges the electorate to be calm and resolve all electoral dispute legally and most importantly not to see elections as a do or die affair but rather be more patriotic and treat every life as sacred.
About NWTF GEW:
The Gender and Election Watch (GEW) is an initiative of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF). The GEW is aimed at observing and analyzing the participation of women compared to men in elections through electoral assessment and election observation from a gender and accountability perspective.
GEW is also a response to inadequate women focused election observation report and analysis for the female gender and an assessment of how all elements of an election process affect women in general and their access to the benefits of governance. Similarly, GEW is intended to serve as a research spectrum for other program interventions by providing a comprehensive focus on how women engage with the electoral process as electorates on election days.
GEW Hotlines: +234-9062782773, 9062782774, 9062782779
Chief Executive Officer
For Gender and Election Watch (GEW) Room
of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF).