Election: NOA trains CSOs, stakeholders on civic, voter education in Bauchi

By Ahmed Ahmed

The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has commenced training of Civil Society Organizations and stakeholders on Civic and Voter Education in Bauchi State.
The Director General of the agency, Dr. Garba Abari, disclosed this at the opening of a two-day North East Zonal workshop with the theme, "Improving the Quality of Citizens Participation in Governance Through Civic Education.”
Represented by a director in the agency, Mr David Akoji, the NOA boss stated that elections in Nigeria were characterised by large numbers of voided votes as well as the disturbing trend of vote buying, hence the need for continuous voter education to the citizens.
"It is often the case that majority of voters, most of whom reside in rural areas, are not exposed to adequate voter education so as to equip them with the knowledge to exercise their civic rights by voting correctly at elections.
"Many of our electorates express frustration and fear that their votes will not count. This no doubt contributes largely to low voter turn out at most elections.
"It is in recognition of these challenges and the need to commence the process of capacity building for citizens groups in the 36 states of the federation as well as the federal capital territory towards getting them to actively participate in the process of sensitizing citizens in their communities of operation, that the National Orientation Agency undertook the task of mapping of citizens groups in the 36 states and the FCT as a critical step towards nominating participants for the capacity building workshop on civic responsibility which is happening today," he pointed out.
Also, the District Head of Bauchi, Alhaji Nuru Adamu Jumba, said that without proper sensitization to citizens on the electoral process especially on how to handle ballot papers on election day, there would be more invalid votes and cancellations of results which might affect the success of the 2019 elections.
He therefore commended NOA for organising the workshop and cautioned security agencies against interfering in electoral process, saying their duty is only to provide security for both the electorate and INEC officials.
In his address, the Bauchi State Director, National Orientation Agency, Alhaji Nuru Yusuf Kobi, said that the workshop was organized to sensitize the participants on the need to ensure that government becomes more accountable to its citizens.
Nuru Kobi who described the session as timely, noted that it would no doubt increase citizens’ participation in the process of governance for the rapid development of the country.

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