The need for Anambra women to participate actively in the electoral process has been emphasized.
At a one day South East Sensitization workshop for Women on Continuous Voters Registration held at Professor Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka, stakeholders described women’s active participation in the electoral process as critical in achieving good governance.
Queen Anigbogu reports that the workshop, which was organized by PAN African Women Projects in collaboration with Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, attracted Government officials, Traditional rulers, People Living With Disabilities, faith-based organizations and women groups from the five South Eastern States.
In her address, the Head of Mission, PAN African Women Projects, Dr Mrs Eno Udensi, said the event was to create awareness on the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration and call on women, youths, People Living With Disabilities and other groups, who are yet to register to use the opportunity to go and register, in order to participate in the November sixth Anambra State governorship election.
She noted that the programme would help to build confidence in women, whom she said are managers of families and have the capability to speak to people in the communities, Churches and market places, to get their voters cards.
On women’s apathy towards electoral process, Dr Mrs Udensi said the introduction of online voters registration and electronic voting by INEC will ensure that their votes will count, urging Ndi Anambra, who are eligible, but do not have voters cards, to go and get registered at the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration exercise.
In his opening remark, the Anambra State Resident Electoral Commissioner, INEC, Dr Nkwachukwu Orji, expressed dissatisfaction with the number of Ndi Anambra that have registered so far at the ongoing registration exercise, urging them to come out and register to enable them exercise their franchise during the November sixth governorship election.
He revealed that there are twenty-two INEC registration locations situated in the headquarters of each of the twenty one Local Government Areas of Anambra State, as well as the State headquarters of INEC in Awka.
In a paper presentation titled, “Voters Registration, A Call for Women Participation”, the keynote speaker, Professor Joy Ezeilo, who pointed out that women have what it takes to change the narrative in the electoral process of the nation, urged them to begin to reflect on the Nigeria they have and the Nigeria they want, and to use their votes, which are powerful and of great value to get things right in Nigeria.
Also speaking, the State Director, National Orientation Agency, Barrister Charles Nworji, noted that the workshop is strategic and expressed hope that it will reflect in the total number of voters during the November sixth governorship election.
In her remark, a former Minister of Women Affairs, Iyom Josephine Anineh, pointed that Government is involved in the life of people from birth till death, hence the need for the electorate to use their voting power to elect credible people to lead them, urging the participants to take the message of the workshop to the grassroots.
Also speaking, Mrs Joyce Ndem of PAN African Women Projects, called on Government to make use of town criers to take the message of Continuous Voters Registration exercise to the villages.
Others who spoke at the event which featured drama presentation and cultural dance include the Anambra Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Lady Ndidi Mezue, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic planning, Dr Daniel Ezeanwu, HOD, VEP, INEC Anambra State, Mr Samuel Ninem, a resource person, Prince Stafford Bisong, among others.