Young people in Kogi State joined the mega rally for the ‘Vote Not Fight’ campaign by Hands Across Africa Development Initiative in partnership with Young Stars Foundation 2Baba Foundation and National Democratic Institute (NDI) to raise awareness against hate speech, electoral violence, vote buying and to promote youth voter turnout in the 2019 elections.
The State Coordinator, Vote Not Fight campaign and Executive Director, Hands Across Africa Development Initiative, Mr. Umar Dan’Assabe Muhammed revealed that the Vote Not Fight, National Day of Action, was being commemorated in the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
The walk had the presence of various youth groups and youth led organizations in the state including Hands Across Africa Development Initiative, Kogi Earnest Group, Rotaract Club Kogi, National Association of Kogi State Students (NAKOSS), Participation Initiative for Behavioral Change in Development (PIBCID), Youth Advocacy for Transparency and Accountability (YAFTA) and YALI Network Kogi State.
In his address made at the Headquarters of the Nigerian Police, the Coordinator noted that the general elections offer another opportunity for Nigerian Youths to decide their representatives at various levels of governance.
He used the medium to call for the commitment of the Nigerian Police for adequate security and protection of the electorates during elections.
Responding, the Public Relations Officer, Mr. Williams Aya gave the assurance that the Nigerian Police will cooperate with the Independent National Electoral Commission at all levels to ensure a peaceful free, fair and credible election process in 2019.
Similarly, the Executive Director Hands across Africa Development Initiative called for the commitment of the Independent National Electoral Commission to display openness and transparency in its activities and relationship with its stakeholders, charge its staff and ad-hoc staff to be professional and neutral in the discharge of responsibilities and ensure adequate and timely distribution of electoral materials at the polling units.
Responding, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, INEC Kogi State, Prof. James Apam gave full assurance of INEC’s commitment to protecting the sanctity of the ballot box and ensuring peaceful elections by working closely with the Nigerian Police to ensure rapid response to distress calls by voters, election officials and observers.