The Nigerian Women Trust Fund has cautioned women in Kogi state against selling their votes during the forthcoming November 11, 2023 governorship election in the state.
Programme Coordinator of the group Venesa Gregory gave the charge at the closing ceremony of the 3-day Training Of Trainers (TOT) on continuous voter education organised for 20 women based organizations in Kogi state.
The Programme Coordinator who described vote buying and selling as one of the heinous electoral offenses, urged women to desist from the act in order for them to have the rights to demand for basic social amenities that can better their lives and that of their children.
“The Nigerian Women Trust Fund is advising women in Kogi state not to sell their votes at the detriment of their future and that of their children.
“If you sell your vote during election you will not have the audacity to ask any thing from the candidate that bought your vote and that mean continuous suffering in the next four years.
“As women and by virtue of your population, you have the rights to make choice in choosing the candidate that can better your life through provision of social amenities including security, but if you collected peanut before the election you have sold that rights and it is not good for you” she said.
While urging the participants to further scale down the training to a minimum of 50 women in each of the 21 local government areas of Kogi State, the Programme Coordinator, warned that a feedback mechanisms have been put in place to monitor the activities and performance of the participants at the grassroots.
In his remarks, the Chairperson of Kogi NGO Network (KONGONET) Ambassador Idris Ozovehe Muraina described the partnership between the Nigerian Women Trust Fund and INEC on continuous voters education as very important, noting that it would enhanced the performance of women in the forthcoming governorship election in Kogi State.
Muraina who is also the Executive Director, Renaissance Care and Empowernment Foundation (RECEF) added that the trainers would go to the grassroots to sensitize and educate the people so that more women would come out to cast their votes on the election day.
“Women need to know that they have a very great power to influence whoever become the governor of Kogi state by virtue of the registration data available, therefore they should come out enmass to vote for the candidate of their choice without selling their votes” he advised.
One of the facilitators of the Programme, Mr Bukar Maikwada from INEC headquarters , said the training of the trainers on voter education was aimed at equipping the selected women based organizations on the best ways to go about voter education across the grassroots in Kogi state.
He noted that the programme when cascaded to the local government areas would widen the impact of participation of women in the governorship election slated for November 11, 2023.
“We want a situation where women participation in the next governorship election in the state will drastically increase. This voter education will enable women to know how to make choice , how to cast their votes to avoid invalid votes and how best they can conduct themselves peacefully before, during and after the election” he stated.