A non-governmental Organisation (NGO), The Pacesetters, has joined youths and security agencies to ensure a violence-free governorship election in Ondo State.
Executive Director of the group, Mr. Jonathan Obatola, disclosed this yesterday in Akure at a meeting with youth leaders of major political parties and security agencies.
He said that the youths, either by omission or commission, were often excluded from civic and voters’ education by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Obatola stressed that it was necessary to intimate and educate the youths on the Electoral Act, electoral offences, and penalties therein.
He noted that the youth leaders of political parties had often been used in the past to mobilise people to perpetrate electoral violence.
According to him, threatening someone with the intent of preventing him or her from voting is an electoral offence that attracts one-year imprisonment or a fine of N500,000, as well as having two voter cards.
Meanwhile, INEC has organised a workshop for journalists in the state on election processes and procedures in line with COVID-19 protocols.
The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voters Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said that 17,000 ad-hoc members of staff would be engaged for the governorship election.
He said that 15,000 National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) members would be deployed as polling officers contrary to speculations that corps members would no longer be used for elections.
Others, according to him, would be drafted from civil service and senior officers of tertiary institutions of the country as collation and presiding officers.