With less than 24 hours to the Presidential and National Assembly elections, the Nigerian Women Trust Fund said, about 400 observers have been deployed across the country to monitor the general elections.
NWTF made this disclosure at the official opening of its Gender and Election Watch(GEW) room on Friday, in Abuja.
Chief Executive Officer For Gender and Election Watch (GEW) Room of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF), Mufuliat Fijabi stated that the initiative is geared towards information gathering as well as monitor activities of INEC during the election.
According to Fijabi, NWTF’s GEW will closely watch the efficiency and effectiveness of technology deployed for the electoral process as well as how elements of the election process impacted stakeholders from a gender perspective.
“NWTF GEW has deployed 400 accredited observers across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for the Presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled for tomorrow 25 February 2023 and the Governorship and State Assembly elections scheduled for 11 March 2023, to observe and assess how all elements of the election process impact all stakeholders from a gender perspective.
“This strategic initiative has been put in place to gather information and carry out analysis on women’s participation in the elections in comparison to men as well as the assessment of all critical components of the electoral processes for action and advisory towards a more vibrant democratic governance in Nigeria.
“NWTF through its use of an electronic gender-based checklist will watch and harvest critical data on the participation of women and other vulnerable groups in this election and will carry out its analysis based on the Electoral Act (2022) as amended. Additionally, NWTF’s GEW Room will closely observe the election day performance of voters, candidates, and poll officials from a gender perspective.
Speaking further, Fijabi called on INEC and election stakeholders to ensure safety and professional conduct at the polling units adding,”INEC should maintain its statutory level of preparedness and ensure early opening of polls.That the security agencies should perform their duties without militarising and intimidating the voters especially women on election day.
“All critical stakeholders, especially members of the Inter Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) such as Police, National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), other security agencies should arrest every perpetrator of electoral crimes and ensure safety of lives and property during and after the general elections.
“In line with the Amended Electoral Act 2022, priority voting should be accorded to pregnant women, nursing mothers, the elderly and persons with disabilitie.
Political parties and candidates shall adhere to their commitment to the Peace Accords signed by all on 29 September 2022 and 22 February 2023 for a peaceful election throughout the duration of the election and thereafter.”