The National Orientation Agency (NOA) says the agency will step up sensitisation and encourage people on political awareness, because Nigerians are suffering from political apathy.
Mr Olusegun Adeyemi, the Kwara Director of the NOA, said this on Tuesday in Ilorin during a news conference organised as part of activities marking the Annual Press Week of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), NOA Chapel, Kwara Council.
Adeyemi charged Nigerians “to take a bold step, ride over every obstacle and be determined to be part of political activities in the country”.
He warned Nigerians against vote buying by politicians, saying that it 8s criminal collecting money to vote in politicians is mortgaging the future of next generations.
“Once you collect any amount from them and vote them into power, you have sold your future and mortgaged the future of your children for the next four years,” he said.
Adeyemi also advised voters to properly study the ballot papers before thumb printing to avoid voided votes, saying the country cannot afford to loose as much as over 3 million voided votes, as recorded in the 2015 and 2019 elections.
He added that the warning became necessary because the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has over 18 political parties contesting various positions in the upcoming general election.
“Nigerians should understand the importance of voting correctly, because the number of voided votes is alarming.
“We are partnering with INEC to achieve effective participation of Nigerians in the elections,” he said.
He appealed to youths to embrace effective participation on electoral process, saying we have civic responsibility to do it diligently and shun political apathy, violence and vote correctly for the party of choice.
Mr Ajibade Adegbayibi, the Chairman of NUJ NOA Chapel, explained that the theme of the Press Week is: “Building Capacity for Effective Participation in Electoral Process and Nation Building”.
He added that some of the activities for the week-long event included road walk, sports, football match and public presentation by Vice Chancellor of Al-Hikma University.