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Kogi guber poll: Initiative sensitises voters, cautions against violence

Kogi guber poll: Initiative sensitises voters, cautions against violence

Kogi guber poll: Initiative sensitises voters, cautions against violence

Shadanpama Grassroots Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) promoting violence-free elections, has appealed to electorate in Kogi to shun violence in the forthcoming Nov. 11 Governorship Election.

The Founder/Chief Executive Officer of the Initiative, Mr Olufemi Akinbiyi, made the plea in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos.

Akinbiyi, who called registered voters in the state to come out in large number to vote candidate of their choice, said that violence would do no one good.

According to him, as one of the NGOs registered by INEC to carry the message of peaceful conduct in the off-cycle, the initiative had carried out several campaigns against violence in Kogi gubernatorial poll, especially in Dekina Local Government Area.

Akinbiyi said that the initiative had embarked on several sensitisation and awareness campaign to traditional institutions, youth groups, markets and others to plea with voters to shun any action that could inhibit credible election.

He recounted that the paramount ruler of Dekina, Alhaji Usman Obaje, had also appealed to residents to be peaceful, when the tean paid a courtesy to his place.

“Election is not kill your neighbours or burn their houses; just go out and cast your vote for any political party or candidate of your choice,” Akinbiyi quoted Obaje as saying.

He said that Obaje however promised to invite the leaders of various groups in the town including the political parties, youth, men, women and religious bodies ànd pass the message of maintaining peace in Dekina Local government and also to encourage their subjects come out in large number to vote without any fear of any intimidation or harassment as adequate security arrangement will be put in place by INEC.

Akinbiyi said that Obaje promised to join hands with other traditional rulers in his domain to ensure they pass this message of peace to their respective subjects.

He said that Obaje prayed for peace in the land during the election.

The founder, who urged all traditional rulers to champion the cause of peace, advised them to ensure their subjects did not engage in any form of violence and election malpractices.

He also urged traditional rulers to prevail on political parties and followers as well as various youth, men, women and religious bodies to maintain peace during the poll.

Akinbiyi said: “We want people to come out in large number to vote without any fear of any intimidation or harassment as adequate security arrangement will be put in place by INEC.”

Akinbiyi enjoined all other traditional rulers to pass message of peace to their respective subjects.

He said that the initiative had also taken campaigns to markets, including Dekina Central Market and Ayingba Central Market.

According to him, flyers with various inscriptions in different local languages and English version were distributed to the people.

Akinbiyi urged parents to appeal to their children to avoid any form of electoral violence during and after the election.

Also Speaking, Barrister Jacob Ayanda a member of the initiative listed electoral offences to include: intimidation of voters, holding more than one Voter Card, collecting ballot papers on behalf of others as well as attempt by unregistered or ineligible individuals to vote.

Ayanda added that the offences also included possession of offensive weapons, snatching and destruction of election materials among others.

Shadanpama reporters report that INEC has fixed Nov. 11 to conduct off cycle governorship elections in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa.

18 political parties will be participating in the Kogi gubernatorial election.

The total number of registered voters in the state stands at 1,932,654 while the number of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) collected in tbe state is put at 1,813,741 across the 21 LGAs.

 

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