By Justina Auta
The Gender and Election Watch Room (GEW) of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF), has tasked political parties to ensure increased women’s participation in politics.
Ms. Brenda Anugwom, the Chief Executive Officer, GEW of the NWTF, said this in a post election statement in Abuja, after off-cycle governorship election Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi.
Anugwom said that the organization deployed 50 accredited observers across the eight Local Government Areas of Bayelsa to observe the election from a gender perspective.
She said that the poll was peaceful, timely, but witnessed low turnout of both male and female voters.
“Most voters stayed away from the polling units for lack of trust in the system and fear for their safety,” she said.
The Chief Executive Officer urged stakeholders to sensitise the electorate on improved women participation in electoral process.
“Political Parties should create an enabling environment for increased female participation, and women should build capacity and aspire to participate in politics.
“Nigeria cannot achieve inclusive democracy without female participation.
“The intimidation of any observer in an election is not consistent with democratic values and should henceforth stop,” she said.
She also recommended that INEC should invoke the spirit of the new electoral law against votes buyers and sellers by arresting and prosecuting offenders to improve the system.
Anugwom called on security agencies to maintain peace, remain neutral and protect the lives of Nigerians in any election process.