Kogi Gov’ship: Centre for Transparency Advocacy to Deploy 50 Observers, Seeks Covert Operation to Check Vote Buying

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Centre For Transparency Advocacy (CTA) says it will deploy 50 trained observers to cover the November 11, 2023 Kogi state governorship election.

Executive Director of CTA, Faith Nwadishi disclosed this in Lokoja on Tuesday during a stakeholders meeting in preparations for the Kogi state governorship election.

Nwadishi explained that 2 observers will cover each of the 21 local government areas in the state.

According to her, these observers will be trained on election observation, the Electoral Act 2022, and adherence to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) guidelines.

She decried the continued prevalent cases of vote buying during elections despite presence of security personnel at the polling units.

Nwadishi called for different approach to arrest the ugly trend.

“It has become imperative to say NO to money politics, all forms of inducement and money laundering associated with our politics and elections.

“Citizens’ choices must never be subverted by the negative use of money to influence votes, including the criminal purchases of PVCs by politicians.

“We recognize clearly that the symbolic presence of law enforcement agents at polling units on elections has not deterred vote buying. It is, therefore, important that more result-oriented method like covert operations be adopted to curb this menace,” she said.

CTA said it will also be setting up an election day situation room in Lokoja to receive reports in real time from the field observers.

The stakeholders meeting, which served as a platform for discussing critical issues related to electoral processes, transparency, and voter participation, was attended by security agencies. It emphasized the need for collaboration among stakeholders to ensure free and fair elections, address potential challenges, and build public confidence in the electoral system.

Police Public Relations Officer, Kogi State Command, SP William Aya, assured electorate of adequate manpower during the November election.

Aya, who represented CP Bethrand Onuoha, said since it will be an off-cycle election, police personnel from neigbouring states will be drafted to Kogi to ensure adequate security before, during and after the polls.

He said police officers have been trained for enhanced capacity and service during the election, adding that the command has reviewed its performance in recently conducted elections in the state.

Representative of the Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ahmad Gandi, said 10,000 civil defense personnel will be deployed for the November election in Kogi state.

He added that armed personnel will be stationed close to polling units to avert any untoward occurrence.

The Commandant assured that NSCDC is fully prepared for the election.

Representative of the Sector Commander of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Kogi Command, Samuel Oyedeji, said all legal and illegal borders will be closed on election day.

He said the sector is determined to restrict movements across the state to ensure peaceful polls.

The state chairman of National Road Transport Union of Nigeria (NURTW), Yahaya Ibrahim, expressed union members’ readiness to ensure prompt delivery of election material to designated points across the state.

Represented by Augustine Omeiza, the NURTW chairman however called for improved security cover for their members during the movement of election materials.

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