By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – The National Orientation Agency, (NOA), has intensified sensitisation of electorate in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State to curb high incidents of invalid votes during elections.
NOA Chief Orientation and Mobilisation Officer in the LGA, Mr. Danjuma Makama, described invalid votes as a “threat to democracy”, stressing the need to ensure every votes count.
Makama explained during a sensitisation campaign at Emir of Kajuru Palace, on Saturday, that invalid votes often lead to cancellation of elections; declaration of election as inconclusive; litigations and in some cases electorate violence.
“A vote is termed invalid when the voter thumbprint in more than one space, in-between the party’s logos; write or sign on the ballot paper, or thumbprint on the party logo space among others.
“NOA is, therefore, calling on the electorate to make sure that every ballot paper is thumb printed correctly by thumbprinting for only one political party of their choice.
“And the thumbprint must be within the space representing the political party of your choice and ensure that ink does not spill over the ballot paper.
“Our goal is to create the needed awareness with a view to ensuring that every vote count during the forthcoming 2019 general elections,” he said.
Also speaking, an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr. Gankon Ayuba, at the event displayed some photographs of invalid votes and encourages electorate to vote rightly to make their vote count.
Ayuba called on eligible voters to come out en masse to exercise their electoral franchise, adding that women and people with disability would be given due attention during the elections.
The Divisional Police Officer in Kajuru, Chief Superintendent of Police Farouk Umaru, assured the people of adequate security across the local government area.
Umaru added that the police would work along with other security agencies in ensuring a peaceful election and urged the people to be law abiding.
The Emir of Kajuru, Alhaji Alhassan Adamu, thanked NOA for ensuring that the votes of his subjects count during the 2019 general elections.
The royal father directed all his district heads, village heads and ward heads to take the messages to every nooks and crannies of the emirate, particularly to women. He urged political parties to conduct violence-free campaigns.
The sensitization was attended by party officials, religious leaders, security officials and members of the public.