In a bid to continue to increase citizen participation in the electoral process, YIAGA AFRICA’s WatchingTheVote has commence a citizen engagement radio program on Prime FM and Peoples FM in Kogi and Bayelsa states respectively. The Radio program tagged “Watching The Vote hour” kicked off on Prime FM 98.1 Kogi state every Thursday by 10am and also on Peoples FM 93.1 Bayelsa.
The programs are aimed to engage citizens and election stakeholders ahead of the upcoming Governorship elections in both Kogi and Bayelsa state. The Radio show will provide platform for citizens in the states to engage election stakeholders while discussing critical issues related to the upcoming elections.
The program became necessary because citizens should participate in the electoral process from an informed position and thus information about the electoral process should be disseminated to the public accordingly. Similarly, WTV hour will provide timely information on both the pre-election environment and the election day activities to counter misinformation and rumours. Watching The Vote hour sponsored by Technical Partner, National Democratic Institute (NDI) with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the British Department for International Development (DFID) will also serve as platform for YIAGA AFRICA to share pre-election environment information to election stakeholders and citizens.
During the WTV Hour, officials from the Independent National Electoral Commission will be invited guest to provide information on how best citizens can engage the electoral process from an informed perspective. Also, the platform will provide avenue for INEC to tell the people of Bayelsa and Kogi their level of preparedness to conduct a credible poll. Citizens will also have the avenue to ask questions relating to the pre-election activities like Permanent Voters Card collection and other election day activities like commencement of polls amongst other information needed by citizens to ensure a participatory process.
Other Stakeholders like the security agency will also have opportunity to share security tips and other information to citizens through radio stations to further arm voters and help contribute to peaceful elections. Issues around Vote buying and selling will also be discussed by experts while proferring recommendations to listeners ahead of the election.