CODE made the call on Saturday in Abuja during the sensitisation and empowerment of women in the community, a suburb of Nyanya in FCT.
The move was part of CODE’s initiative to create awareness on the dangers of vote trading to improve systems that would guarantee free, fair, and credible elections in 2023 .
Mr Hamzat Lawal, Chief Executive of CODE and Founder, Follow The Money, said the door- to- door PVC collection campaign was brought to Angwan Dadi community because it was among the under served ones.
According to Lawal, the community boasts of many eligible voters armed with their PVCs.
He said, ”the community has no primary healthcare facility and schools.
There was also no access road when CODE started work, however, through our advocacy, a road is now being constructed.
“Our message for the electorate is, do not sell your votes, election is not a transaction, it is about your rights to undertake your civic responsibility and hold government to account after the elections.
“It politicians bring you money, wrappers and other things do not collect, tell them to build schools and hospitals for you instated and empower your youths so they can in turn take of you.
“So, we want to sensitise Angwan Dadi and other communities to collect their PVCs, but most importantly, use them to bring about the change they so desired in their communities.
Lawal said that the information the organisation was sharing with the residents will equip them with the right tools to use to engage with politicians on issues.
“If politicians say they are going to build schools, ask them what are the timelines?
if they say they are going to build hospitals, ask them what kind of hospitals,’’ he added.
According to Lawal, the overall goal is to equip communities with knowledge to make informed decisions ahead of 2023 as women and young people, ‘ because they are the voting blocks that decide the fate of Nigeria.
He said the first series started in Kogi state, then to Agnwan Dadi, a border community between Nassarawa and the FCT, adding, ”we will take the campaign to other communities.
“Beyond just mobilsing 20000 election observers, we also want to ensure that at least we get 15 million people to come out to cast their ballot,’’he said
Mr Ismaila Babatunde, National Coordinator ,White Elephant Social Movement ,said the group embarked ob the campaign as most electoral offences were usually committed in rural communities due to lack of information.
Babatunde said: “We are here to sensitise them to tell them that now power has been moved to the grassroots and that with their PVCs, they can effect the positive change they truly desire.
“This is because we cannot afford to get it wrong with the 2023 elections.
He said that the group also decided to empower some women in the community to help in ameliorating their plight.
Mrs Mary Emmanuel, Women Leader, Angwan Dadi community, commended the CSOs for empowering women and for advising them rightly on how to use their PVCs to make demands from politicians.
She said: “I thank you for coming, this is the first time people will come to visit us like this,,we do not have primary healthcare centre, no primary and secondary schools in this community and it has not been easy.
“Even yesterday, we suffered because one of the women wanted to give birth but no primary healthcare centre, no car, no good road to take her to the hospital and she was bleeding and the Nyanya hospital is far from us.
“Thank God, we have our PVCs, we, the women will not collect money, maggi, salt, wrappers from anybody during this election, we will use our PVCs right.
Emmanuel, however, appealed for help for the community to get access to basic amenities and transformers for electricity, because the community has just one that services the entire place which was not enough.