Elections - NGO Engages 7,400 Religious Leaders As Educators On Proper Electoral Conduct

Civil Society Organisation (CSO)
17 January 2019
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Open Society Initiative for West Africa (Dakar)

A Civil Society Organisation (CSO), ReclaimNaija Grassroots Movement is to engage 7,400 religious leaders from all the states of the Federation to teach on civic and voter education from their various platforms.

Mrs Ngozi Iwere, Executive Director, Community Life Project (CLP), ReclaimNaija, disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja at a High-level Religious Leaders' Forum.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the topic of the forum was: "The Responsibility of Religious Leaders and Faith Communities in the Forthcoming Elections''.

Iwere said that standardised modules and voter education materials that were nonpartisan had been prepared to promote active participation in the elections in a manner that would ensure free and fair polls.

"We believe strongly that the civic space should not be abandoned to politicians; so we are engaging 200 religious and traditional leaders each in the 36 states to curb electoral irregularities.

"We have faith leaders and communities who are the moral voices that must be heard. They are servants of God Almighty, answerable to God, to provide the needed guidance.

"We want both the leaders and the faith communities to speak, and we believe that Nigerians are listening; the world is listening; God Himself is listening,'' she said.

The executive director noted that the major political parties were usually touted as having structures all over the country.

She, however, explained that it remained unsaid that religious leaders and faith communities had more structures than political parties anywhere in the world.

She urged religious leaders and faith communities to put those structures in use for the promotion of non-partisan, peaceful, free, fair and credible elections.

Iwere said it was necessary for the voter education to be heard from the moral voices in the society to provide guidance for religious people and faith communities on how to conduct themselves during the elections.

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