Still ahead of the 2023 Nigeria general election a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), the West African Civil Society Forum (WACSF), has moved to educate the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on voting activities.
Speaking to IDPs in the Durumi neighborhood of Abuja, WACSOF National Coordinator, Mr. David Olatunji, explained that the initiative was designed to entice young people to turn out in large numbers to cast their votes for their favorite presidential candidate.
Olatunji advised the residents, who he described as violence-prone people, to avoid being used as tools by politicians to disrupt the electoral process.
“We know that people will come with their money and resources to bribe the less-privileged and uneducated ones to influence their choice of votes, hence the need for this sensitisation,” he said.
According to him, based on prior experiences during elections, Durumi and Area 1 of the FCT are hot spot locations.
“We have youth representatives from Area 1 and nearby communities here and hope they serve as ambassadors to promote peace as that’s what we seek to achieve during this programme,” he said.
Mr Oluwasegun Oyedijo, WACSOF Youth Team Lead, said that there was the need to sensitise those at the grassroots on how to properly vote.
“We have decided not to stay in the heart of town for this sensitisation but to come to the grassroots to ensure they shun violence.
“It is wrong for someone to be used negatively as long as election is concerned, so we expect them to be positive and embrace peace,” he said.
In order to improve Nigeria, Oyedijo advised the participants on which finger to use when casting their ballots. He also urged them to vote for the candidate of their choice.
An IDP, Thomas Yakubu, said that the programme has educated participants on the right finger to use in voting.
Yakubu said that many were unaware of the voting process but knew that all they needed to vote was their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
“We have been advised to vote freely for those we want to lead us as a nation.
“Most people know who they want to vote for in their minds, so we will stay away from trouble during the election,” he said.
Gloria Isah, a resident at the camp, said that she is sure that the turnout for this year’s election would be massive.
Isah said that the major topic of discussion within her community was how determined everyone was to exercise their voting rights.
She said that the sensitisation programme was apt to avoid violence.