Brain Builders International (BBI), has paid a courtesy visit to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Kwara State.
In his address, the Executive Director of BBI, Mr. Olasupo Abideen, while appreciating the commission for hosting the delegates, expressed his gratitude to the commission for its awareness in Kwara State and weekend registrations to ensure every Nigerian has a PVC.
According to him the motive behind the visit was to look into ways by which the organisation (BBI) can work together with the commission (INEC) in tackling electoral related vices, to achieve credible, free and fair elections in the state; stating that the organization held a month PVC sensitisation campaign for all Nigerians.
He explained that a partnership with the commission would be a way of fighting various forms of electoral malpractices such as vote-buying, rigging, and electoral violence. While he lauded the commission for its sterling efforts in ensuring registered voters obtain their Voters Cards, he expressed dissatisfaction that Kwara state is one of the top states in the country with the highest number of uncollected PVCs.
“We have worked with youth constituencies and we understand their language owing to our four years of active experience with young persons on civic responsibility and good governance,” he said.
Olasupo in his address, seeked partnership with the commission on a plethora of programs like the “vote, not buy” campaign which is aimed at fighting the scourge of vote buying, selling and trading among the electorates and politicians. As well as the “vote, not fight” campaign which is aimed at fighting electoral violence and preventing loss of lives and properties. He went further to suggest that an essay/debate competition be held among schools in the state to boost sensitization.
He went on to register the organisation’s dissatisfaction on commercialisation of voting process through hike in form fees and vote buying, recommending that INEC activate the electoral law and must ensure its implementation.
Olasupo also recommended that INEC should ensure distribution of PVCs at ward level instead of LGAs for easy collection, which was accepted by the Chairman.
The INEC chairman in the state, Mallam Garba Attahiru Madami, also thanked BBI for paying the commission a visit and expressed his delight in meeting its Executive Director.
He expressed concerns regarding the menace of vote buying, but added that the commission is working on its challenges. While he appealed that the governor set aside every Friday from September 2018, to February 2019, in order to enable civil servants claim their PVCs.
Mallam Garba Attahiru Madami further assured the delegates that the commission would employ more measures to ensure higher circulation of PVCs to voters in the state. He said efforts would be intensified through the media houses especially the Radio stations to create awareness for the collection of PVCS.
He ended his remarks by thanking the BBI team for deeming it fit to visit the commission and promised to get back to the organisation on ways to partner with it to achieve free, fair and credible elections in the state.