By Nathaniel Gana
Sept 22, 2017
As part of efforts to strengthen Voter Education and Public Enlightenment at the grassroots level, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in collaboration with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has commenced a two-day Train-the-Trainers’ workshop for Training Officers and Heads of Voter Education of the Commission from 19 states of the federation in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The workshop is intended to improve the participants’ capacity to replicate the training at the Commission’s Local Government area offices for an improved overall dissemination of voter education to voters ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Declaring the workshop open, Chairman of the Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, represented by National Commissioner, Prince Solomon Adedeji Soyebi, said, “for any meaningful thing to be achieved in terms of voter education, it has to get down to the grassroots”.
The INEC Chairman noted that this was the first time the Commission was paying special attention to building the capacity of Assistant Electoral Officers (AEOs) at the Local Government level to deliver on the Commission’s voter education mandate.
Professor Yakubu observed that the workshop was necessary to ensure the effective use of voter education to build greater confidence in the electoral process and ensure enlightened participation by the citizenry.
The INEC Chairman commended the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) for hosting the training and called for sustained efforts.
In his remark, the Acting Director General of the Electoral Institute, Dr. Saad Umar Idris, expressed optimism that the
training would eventually strengthen the capacity of the 774 AEOs to deliver Voter Education and Public Enlightenment at the LGAs nationwide.
The Director, Voter Education and Publicity Department, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, said, ‘’the success of the Voter Education drive of the Commission depends on the how well the trainers are equipped to impart the necessary knowledge to the Desk Officers in their respective states.’’
In his goodwill remark, the Senior Capacity Building Manager of IFES, Seray Jah, applauded the efforts of INEC at enhancing the knowledge of its voter education staff and extending it to the grassroots level. He said it was an indication that the Commission was on track to achieve its voter education target.
The second phase of the workshop will continue in Owerri, Imo State.