The National Association of Seadogs, better known as Pyrates confraternity, in continuation of its quest to ensure that the vote of every eligible Nigerian voter counts, embarked on the second phase of the group’s electoral awareness campaign worldwide, tagged ‘Our Votes Count,’ under its Citizen’s Summit umbrella. The awareness campaign took off on December 22, 2018 at Hawkins Deck, its Egbeda/Alimosho chapter, with a road show that commenced with distribution of awareness fliers and banners, educating the public on how not to void their votes and procedures to take to protect their votes after balloting.
Speaking during the takeoff of the campaign, the Lagos State coordinator of the Association, Uchenna Nnoli, told THISDAY that the current effort is part of a grand campaign to ensure that no single vote is lost to ignorance or vote-buying.
According to him “for a very long time we have abdicated our responsibilities of electing a responsible leadership to happenstance but this time around we are determined to make sure that every single vote we cast matters. The first phase of the enlightenment campaign was to encourage citizens to go and register for their PCV while the group is utilising this second phase to educating the voting public on their rights and how to ensure that their votes count.”
Also in a chat with THISDAY after the awareness campaign that covered the whole of Alimosho Local Government Area (LGA), the Vice President of the Egbeda chapter of the association, Hassan Aidorolo, said that the feedback from the street interactions was as diverse as it came. “Largely the view of most of the voters spoken to was that they have lost confidence in the electoral process and are not going to bother themselves with going to vote as they believe that their votes would never count.” he said.
The exercise will continue until a few days to the election in February 2019, just as the report of the entire exercise would be complied and sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).