May 18, 2024

CONGOs, MHCD Academy Collaborate On Digital Campaign Education DCE-Project.

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By Simeon OSAJIE

The Conference of Non-Government Organizations (CONGOs), in collaboration with Muyucx’s Human Capacity Development (MHCD) Academy Limited has organized a 1-day Awareness Seminar on Digital Campaign Education with the theme;
“Digital Campaign, A Solution To Increasing Voters Participation”‘ ahead of the forthcoming Edo State governorship election.

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The awareness campaign which involved representatives from all the registered 18 political parties in Edo State took place at the conference hall of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Benin City, the state capital.

The seminar was declared opened by the chairman of the occasion, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo, Executive Director,
Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, & Chairman, CONGOS BoT. while the executive director of planning and strategy of Artisans Development and Networking Organisation ARDENET ORG and executive member of MHCD Academy, Engr. John Oyairo presented an overview of the training which includes other presentation bothering on Voter Apathy and its Implication on Democracy; the Role of CSOs in Addressing Voters Apathy and the Importance of Digital Campaign Education to Political Parties.

Mrs. Osinfowokan Adeola, the Assistant Director, National Orientation (NOA), Edo State spoke on “Issues of Voters Apathy and Its Implications on Democracy.”

According to Adeola, voter apathy refers to a lack of interest or motivation among eligible voters to participate in elections or engage in the democratic process.

Some of the key issues related to voter apathy and its implications on democracy include: Low Voter Turnout, Limited Diversity of Views, Underrepresentation of Marginalized Groups, Erosion of Civic Engagement and Weakened Trust in Democratic Institutions.

She said the solution to addressing voter apathy requires proactive efforts to promote civic education, increased accessibility to voting, addressing barriers to participation, engagement with communities to ensure that diverse voices are heard and represented in the democratic process as well as encouraging active citizenship and fostering a culture of civic responsibility.

These, she said are essential for strengthening democracy and promoting inclusive governance.

The President, Conference of Non-Governmental Organisation (CONGOs), Mrs. Daisy Abiola Igaga spoke on the “Role of Civil Society Organisations in Addressing Voter’s Apathy”.

According to her, civil society organizations play a crucial role in addressing voters’ apathy by education campaign, voter registration drives, community engagement, advocacy for electoral reforms, monitoring elections, civic mobilization and addressing barriers.

She added that several actors can influence civil society organizations in addressing voter apathy which included government, political parties, media, community leaders, international organizations, academic institutions as well as donors and foundations.

The Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria and Chairman, CONGOS BoT, Dr. Godwin Ojo spoke on the “Essence of Digital Campaign Education to Political Parties”

According to him, digital campaign education is essential for political parties for several reasons, including reaching a wider audience, cost-effective communication, real-time feedback, targeted messaging, data analytics, Engagement and mobilization, transparency and accountability and adaptability to changing trends.

In summary, Dr. Ojo said digital campaign education empowers political parties campaign volunteers to effectively: Harness data insights, Communicate their messages, Engage with voters and other stakeholders, Adapt to the evolving landscape of digital media and technology, Enhances their outreach capabilities, Improves campaign efficiency, and strengthens their overall electoral strategy at their convenience without stress.

The high point of the seminar was when the DCE-Project initiator and the founder of MHCD Academy Ltd Comrade Osamuyime Xtrel Ugiagbe took the centre stage to educate political parties about his organisation readiness on the forthcoming training and how to participate in the one week free digital facilitating certificate course.

Speaking to newsmen after the event on the essence of the seminar, Comrade Ugiagbe Osamuyime, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MHCD Academy said they decided to embark on the project because of the deteriorating nature of our voters’ participation.

He noted: “Imagine the last election we were having 25%, and if people did not come to vote, the issue of democracy would be increasing every day.

“So on our quest to see how we can help increase voters participation. That was what preempt the development of the training courses for this project which is not going to be a one off exercise, because we discovered that most of the youth who are actually the segments of people who are supposed to be engaging in voting during election, majority of them are out of it and these are the people who we are targeting with this training, especially those within the age of 18 to at least 35 and at most 45 years old because of those other youths who were able to forge into the digital spaces today.

“We have so many youth who are in digital spaces ignoring democratic processes during elections. These are the people we need to target, attract and encourage digitally to participate in the electoral process of participation.

“We are doing this to support all candidates, who will find our services worthy in respective of his or her political party.

“Digital Campaign Education is not targeted at any political party, absolutely no. It is for every candidate who feels that this training will help build the capacity of their campaign volunteers.

“We are calling on various political parties to register for this project to enable them to nominate their 5-10 volunteers from each ward for participation.

“And the interesting thing is that the registration and training is free with the option of paying for their certificate processing fee for those who want us to engage them on business.

“Having opportunity to train more people to be digitally inclined for this forthcoming gubernatorial election is a key to us. That is the essence of this digital campaign education.”

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