Pre-election Press Statement on the Governorship, State House of Assembly, FCT Area Council Elections.
8 March 2019
On this International Women’s Day, the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) – Gender and Election Watch (GEW) Room joins the rest of the world to celebrate and recognize the contribution of women to world progress and in Nigeria in particular. It is noteworthy to specifically state that modern years of the Nigerian democracy has witnessed non-inclusion of women in governance and leadership positions.
It is important to acknowledge how far the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has come in advancing women’s rights in the electoral process. However, the 23 February 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections reported irregularities in the electoral process in some states around Nigeria. More shocking is the violence against women meted out to some INEC Adhoc staff who were raped.
2019 Governorship and State House of Assembly Elections:
NWTF GEW has deployed Two Hundred and Ninety (290) stationary observers across Nigeria to observe the electoral process from a gender, transparent and accountable perspective in relation to the conduct of electoral stakeholders, including electorates, agents of political parties and security personnel. Preliminary observations of NWTF GEW on the Governorship, State House of Assembly and Federal Capital Territory Council Elections across Nigeria reveal as follows:
- There is steady progress in the level of preparedness of INEC in the deployment of sensitive and non-sensitive materials.
- Presence of armed military personnel in some states.
- That there are indications of voter inducement.
- Today being the IWD, we decry the setback brought about by the poor percentage of women’s representation in the 23 February 2019 elections.
NWTF GEW therefore urges as follows:
- INEC should maintain the progress on the deployment of materials and ensure prompt opening of polls on 9 March 2019.
- That attention should be paid to effective functionality of the card readers.
- The 9 March 2019 elections should not be militarized.
- That all indicators that could lead to irregularities in the 9 March 2019 elections should be minimized to increase the credibility and fairness of the elections
- That Nigerians should remain calm, be nonviolent and shun any form of inducement from all angles.
- That today’s International Women’s Day is a further call to Nigerians that the inclusiveness of Nigeria’s democracy is critical, and women should be recognized as equal players to Nigeria’s development.
- Security personnel should be ready to arrest electoral offenders and perpetrators of Gender Based Violence for prosecution.
- We call on Nigerians and women in particular to turn out emasse to participate in the election on 9 March 2019.
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).