The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) has called on Nigerians to ensure peaceful atmosphere during the governorship and Houses of Assembly Elections.
The national president of NCWS, Hajiya Lami Lau, made the call in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
She urged women and youths to come out en masse to exercise their civic responsibility and not to be intimidated during the polls.
Lau urged youths to denounce violence during and after the elections, adding that the Presidential and National Assembly elections recorded some decree of violence in some states.
“I want Nigerians to stand united against violence and activities that will jeopardise the elections.
“I advise all Nigerians, specifically women and youths, to work together towards free and fair elections regardless of party affiliations.
“As women, we are the worst hit in times of violence; our collective goal should be a better Nigeria,’’ she said.
Lau discouraged Nigerians from engaging in vote-buying and selling or mortgaging their conscience and future for mundane things.
She advised youths against being used by selfish politicians to disrupt elections as thugs or engaging in other unpatriotic activities.
According to her no nation can move forward without active participation of women in politics.
“If we must move the country forward we must position women to contribute meaningfully to national development.
“Leadership must be inclusive, creating equal opportunities for women to function in key positions both at the federal and state levels,” she said.
This, she said represents the best practices and standards for sustainable development, gender equity and justice.
“It cannot be denied that the democracy practiced in Nigeria for many years has not met the full ideals because of its lack of inclusion of women in important decision making processes.
“For Nigerian women, democracy is seen as retrogressing with the dwindling number of women in governance in Nigeria.
“However, not voting will not only worsen the situation, but tactically widen the gender gap in politics and leadership hence women are advised to go all out and support every female candidate,” she said.
Lau said that voting women into elective positions will greatly enhance the quality of lives of women in terms of healthcare, agriculture, procurement, business; access to funds, grants and loans.
She called on the public to support INEC and urged the commission to be open to comments from Nigerians that would help in achieving its set objectives.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria