Know your rights: engaging marginalised groups in the Nigeria’s elections
Engagement strategies are at the heart of every voter education campaign. It is often effective to use both traditional and modern campaigns.
WFD Nigeria, through collaborative work with National Youth Service Corps, established the Voter Education Community Development Service (CDS) group in three focal states which are Imo, Osun and Abuja. The service group was inaugurated on the 10th of January 2019 in Imo State by the Commissioner for Talents & Youth Development Hon. Ifeanyichukwu Onwueyiagba.
Hon. Onwueyiagba urged corp members to take voter education outreach seriously because the outcome of #NigeriaDecides2019 hinged on the active participation of young people, who make up more than 50% of registered voters. The well-attended event had representatives from Independent National Electoral Commission, National Youth Service Corps, Federal Road Safety Corps, CSOs and the media fraternity.
Following the launch of the Voter Education Community Development Service group, one thousand and sixty-three serving volunteer Corp members were trained and organised to engage in weekly voter education outreaches in their places of primary assignment. This stimulated the peer-to-peer approach designed to enable young people to engage other youth, while women reached out to fellow women.
With this, messages specific to each group were communicated easily, effectively and in a personalised way. Corps members were also equipped with information and communication materials such as t-shirts, flyers, posters, handbooks and training manuals.
Examples of strategies used:
- Voter Education CDS group rally held in Wuse market where materials with tagline messages like ‘Vote not Fight’, ‘Don’t Sell your Vote’, ‘No to Electoral Violence’ were effectively circulated targeting the underrepresented groups.
- The Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) trained women in the target States who then mobilised and conducted step-down training in local communities to build the capacity of fellow women on how to participate in the elections actively.
WFD also engaged their online audience and millennial population using social media platforms such as twitter on topics such as how radio can be used as a tool in making youth votes count and protecting their vote before election day.