Kogi: NGOs Seek Violence-free Election

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By Stephen Adeleye.

The Centre for Advocacy of Justice and Rights in partnership with the International Foundation Electoral System, has educated the people of Kogi on how to mitigate election-related violence.

Mr Kingsley Obida, the Project Officer of the centre, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the stakeholders meeting held in Ogori, Ogorimagongo Local Government Area of Kogi.

Obida said that the meeting was to discuss issues related to electoral violence and how to mitigate such violence.

“We are meeting with stakeholders in Kogi to talk about issues concerning elections violence that were noted during the presidential, governorship and National Assembly elections.

“It is to see how the stakeholders could overcome and give their support in curbing the menace of electoral violence during the Nov. 16 Kogi governorship,” Obida said.

He explained that most of the stakeholders were drawn from the community groups and members such as the traditional and religious leaders, security agencies, associations and market women, among others.

He stressed that the interactions would enable them to chart a way forward in trying to avert issues of electoral violence in Kogi as well as Nigeria in general.

“So far so good, we have had three of the community programmes across Kogi; we started with Kogi East in Anyigba, Kabba in Kogi west and now in Ogori for Kogi Central.

“We have trained 45 monitors that are already on the field and monitoring violence before, during and after the elections across the 21 local governments of Kogi.

“Currently, they are monitoring, reporting and documenting all the electoral violence since the elections activities commenced in Kogi and the peace initiatives that are being carried out either by civil society organisations, governments or individual as the case may be,” he said.

Mr Steve Aluko-Daniel, Director Civil Liberties Organisation and the Lead Monitor in the programme, said that the responses of stakeholders across the senatorial districts were inspiring.

He advised INEC to take every step to reinvent the trust and winning the confidence of the people in their ability to conduct free, fair and credible elections.

He further urged the electoral umpire to build more synergy with the security agencies so that the security lapses would not be exploited to have an inconclusive or a violent election.

A participant, Mr Sadiku Samuel, representing Kogi Central Elders Forum, said that meeting was a fruitful one at a privileged time for them in Kogi to have election into the office of the governor.

Another participant, Mrs Elizabeth Johnson, representing women group, commended the gesture, saying she would go back and sensitise the women to the need to come out, vote and not to be scared.


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