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Ondo 2024: INEC holds consultative meeting with CSOs

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged civil society organizations (CSOs) to engage with all political parties ahead of the April governorship primaries in Ondo State.

Mrs. Oluwatoyin Babalola, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Ondo State, made the call at the quarterly consultative meeting with the CSOs held at the commission’s headquarters on Friday in Akure.

Babalola said that the engagement of the CSOs with the political parties would foster democracy and uphold the sanctity of the electoral process in the state.

According to her, it is clear that the state is blessed with CSOs that are eager to promote developmental values and the electoral process.

The REC said that the collaborative efforts of the CSOs had contributed to the success of the pass elections and other electoral activities in the state, saying their involvement would promote transparency, accountability, and fairness in the electoral process.

Babalola, who explained that 16 political parties have indicated interest in participating in the election, said INEC was committed to promoting a credible, transparent, and inclusive electoral process.

“As regards Ondo State, political parties will commence their primaries for the governorship election in the next two weeks, and 16 political parties have indicated interest in participating in the election.

“I urge CSOs to engage with political parties and observe the main election conducted by the commission.

“Because your engagement will strengthen your advocacy for inclusivity for groups such as women, youths and persons with disabilities (PWD) that are under-represented in elective offices at national and state level.

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“So, let me repeat that INEC is committed to ensuring that every eligible Nigerian has the opportunity to exercise their right to vote,” she said.

Babalola, therefore, said that the commission would continue to provide the necessary support, resources and guidance to ensure seamless partnership with CSOs toward the successful conduct of future elections

“CSOs have played a vital role in ensuring free, fair, transparent, inclusive, and credible elections. This partnership strengthens democracy and enhances public trust in the electoral system.

“Especially in the areas of voter education and awareness, election monitoring and observation, advocacy and election reform, voter registration, capacity-building engagement, and participation,” she said. (NAN)

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