July 13, 2024
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2023 Elections: Don’t Disappoint Nigerians, NGE to INEC, Security Agencies
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2023 Elections: Don’t Disappoint Nigerians, NGE to INEC, Security Agencies

The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has urged the Indepen­dent National Electoral Com­mission (INEC), the security agencies and other stakehold­ers not to let the people down, as the nation is at the threshold of another democratic tran­sition of government with Presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled for Saturday, February 25, and Governorship/States Houses of Assembly polls slated for March 11.

In a communiqué signed by its President, Mustapha Isah and the General Secretary, Iyobosa Uwugiaren, at the end of its Standing Commit­tee meeting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, weekend, the umbrella of all editors in Nigeria said that Nigerians de­sire that their votes will count and are expectant of free, fair and credible elections, devoid of violence.

“We call on the INEC to make good its promise of early deployment of electoral mate­rials to polling units on election days and ensure its personnel, in their conduct, do not deviate from provisions of the Elector­al Act and other laws guiding the elections.

“The NGE notes that all eyes will be on the operation of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and urges the electoral body to ensure that the devices are in top shape, to perform optimally and ac­tualise the intended purpose of their introduction during the elections”, the statement added.

The editors also called on the electoral body to ensure the secrecy of ballots, by en­suring that its cubicles are well positioned to achieve this and cameras are kept away by voters while voting.

The Guild noted the import­ant role of the security agen­cies in achieving free, fair and credible elections, urging them to be unbiased and ensure that voters are able to exercise their franchise freely in a peaceful atmosphere devoid of intimi­dation.

The Guild also urged the security agencies to be on the lookout for vote buyers with a view to apprehending and prosecuting offenders, and ad­vised them to provide adequate security for electoral officials and materials.

Expressing concern over the activities of some political par­ties since the commencement of the ongoing campaigns, the editors advised political parties and their candidates to play by the rules and impress on their supporters the need to avoid vi­olence before, during and after the polls.

The NGE added, “We call on politicians to let their par­ty manifestos and campaign promises guide the electorate in making their choices, and to avoid inducing voters through vote buying.

“The Guild calls on the elec­torate to come out to perform their civic rights by speaking with their votes on election days and to avoid voter apa­thy.”

Observing that the media have a role to play in ensur­ing free and fair elections, the NGE urged the media to be professional in their report­age and ensure proper fact checking before publication of reports.

The editors also called on all stakeholders, including civil society organisations (CSOs), local and international election monitors/observers to play their roles within the ambit of the law in ensuring that the na­tion has yet another successful elections and transition.

The Guild also noted the current challenges over the cashless policy and advised the government, especially the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to address all challeng­es capable of affecting the con­duct of the general elections.

The Guild appreciated the Ogun State government for providing an atmosphere con­ducive for the Standing Com­mittee meeting to hold in the state.

Ezewest (Full Name: Ezenwa Obiajuru) I a blogger, graphics and website designer, NFT, Web 3, Crypto and Block chain Enthusiast. Ezewest is a Biafran and a pan-African who loves everything tech, skill acquisition and an independent young man with a vision to see things work out well for every youth out there who is willing to learn the legitimate ways of doing things and as well making money online. He is also the brain behind EzewestEmpire.com. Follow his twitter handle @EmperorEzewest
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