Abuja, Feb. 2, 2019
EU urges Nigerians not to sell votes, INEC says vote will count
The European Union has urged Nigerians not to sell their votes but to go out enmass to vote candidates of their choice during the February and March general elections.
The Governance Advisor , European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), Mr Dominique Weerts , made the call in Abuja during a rally to sensitise market women and the general public for participation and peaceful elections.
The rally entitled: “the 2000-Strong National Women, Youth and Persons with Disability Walk for Peace and Massive Turnout ahead of 2019 General Elections’’ was held in Wuse Market, Mararaba, Karu and Gwagwalada.
The rally was organised by Preventing Election Violence and Education for Inclusion in Nigeria in collaboration with ECES, Embassy of Germany in Nigeria, INEC, Nigeria Women Trust Fund, Joint National Association of People Leaving with Disability and Market Women.
Weerts said: “We are urging everyone, all the women not only those in this market but around the country to go out enmass and vote for the coming elections this month and next month.
“”We are insisting that all the people have to go out and vote because it is their right for this 2019. Election Day should be the happy day not a violence day.
““It is the right of every Nigerians to vote and they should shun all manner of violence,” he said
The Project Advisor of ECEC Cathy Latiwa, said its role is to provide electoral support, prevent electoral violence and focus on electoral education for inclusion in Nigeria.
“It is a project founded by Germany funded by EU and Germany and we are promoting inclusive democracy
“”One of the things we are emphasising toward the 2019 election is encouraging Nigerians to come out to get their PVC and vote peacefully”.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) also urged Nigerians to pick their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to enable them to vote during the 2019 general elections.
Deputy Director, Voter Education Department, INEC, Lakunuya Dorothy-Bello, who spoke at the rally assured Nigerians that their votes would count.
“Go out and pick up your PVC if you have registered and you have not picked up your PVC.
“They are ready now, go out and pick your PVC because without PVC you cannot vote and I want to assure you that your votes will count,” she said.
The Esu Karu (Chief of Karu) HRH, Dr Luka Baba, thanked EU for choosing Karu for the sensitisation campaign, adding that the traditional council of Karu had planned a similar campaign for the people of the area.
The traditional ruler however called on INEC to ensure that the elections are credible by ensuring that eligible voters are not discriminated against.
Baba disclosed that a lot of eligible voters in the area could not be registered for the elections because of the few times and frequent breaking down of machines brought during the registration period.
He, however, assured that physically challenged persons in the area that had registered and obtained their PVCs would be assisted to vote.