A political pressure group, #YouthDecide2019, has advised INEC, National Orientation Agency (NOA) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on continuous voter education.
The National Coordinator of the group, Mr Chukwuma Okenwa, gave the advice in Enugu on Wednesday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Okenwa said that robust and extensive voter education was the key to solving myriads of challenges facing the electoral system in the country, especially those that had to do with the electorate.
He said that voter education sho
uld not be done as a fire brigade approach as being currently done in few weeks to the election.
According to him, unexposure of the electorate to their rights and how powerful their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) can be make them vulnerable to all sorts of political manipulations.
“In well-informed democracies, the electorate use their wealth and services to support a candidate to office because they know his or her capacity to deliver dividends of democracy back to them.
“But the reverse is the case in our clime here, people collect peanuts from candidates who have no capacity to deliver democracy dividends,” he said.
Okenwa urged governments at all levels, international donors and agencies to invest more in voter education to reduce the high level of ignorance and wrong choices being repeatedly made by the electorate in the country.
“Our citizens must know what governance means, what to expect from each of their representatives and their limitations as well as their own role to make governance and their representatives accountable.
“Electorate must be educated and come to the level of critical thinking.
“At this critical thinking level, electorate will then get to the point of rejecting money and other gratifications to do the right things and take right decisions on electoral matters,’’ he said.
Okewa said that some politicians were currently leveraging on the ignorance and lack of political education of the electorate “to build political empires for themselves and their families.”(NAN)