- Urge INEC to address obvious gaps, technical failures and logistics deficiencies noticed during February 25 polls.
Kogi NGOs Network (KONGONET) has called on the electorate to show more than passing interest in those who will be elected into Kogi State House of Assembly.
KONGONET, the apex coalition of civil society networks in Kogi state, made the call in a statement signed by Idris Ozovehe Muraina and Bola Ibiteye, Chairperson and Assistant Secretary respectively.
The coalition hailed Kogites for largely conducting themselves in a peaceful manner during the conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly general elections held on the 25th of February 2023 despite the biting effects of harsh economic realities occasioned by cash redesign and cash withdrawal limit policy of the Federal Government, as well as the semi-scarcity cum inflated rates of the price of the petroleum motor spirit (PMS) in the country and state.
KONGONET called on the people of Kogi state to come out in their numbers to exercise their franchise on Saturday, March 11.
“We want to implore our dear citizens of Kogi State to once again defy all odds and throng out in her numbers to the polls this Saturday 11th March 2023 to vote for the candidates of their choice for the State Assembly Elections.
“Remember that whoever wins the seat will represent you for the next four years in formulating laws and performing oversight duties over the executive arm of government in the state. This is a serious task and should be treated with all seriousness,” the statement read.
KONGONET equally commended Kogi electorate for exercising restraints in the face of challenges during the last general elections.
“Likewise, it did not escape our notice the various challenges experienced by Kogites as a result of the late arrival of materials and staff of INEC to some polling units, the last-minute shuffling of designated polling units of voters (migration of voters to new polling units), and other technical difficulties experienced during the elections. We wish to commend Kogites for exercising restrain in the face of all these challenges and for maintaining law and order as they exercised their franchise.
“We wish to use this medium to call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to address the obvious gaps, technical failures and logistics deficiencies as this will go a long way to restore the faith of the electorates in the integrity and transparency of the electoral process. This is very vital to the health of our nascent democracy.
“INEC must recognize that Kogites, and indeed Nigerians, are holding them to a high standard, and that it is not enough to be supposedly transparent, they must also be seen to be transparent as perception play a key role in winning the confidence of the electorates.
“We have observed with keen interest over the years the decreasing interest of electorates to participate in the electoral process as evidenced by the decreasing voter turn-out in the nation’s elections since 1999. We have a unique opportunity to turn this around if all stakeholders, beginning with INEC, would do the right things and restore confidence and inspire hope in Kogites and Nigerians by making sure that our electoral processes are free, fair, credible and transparent,” the statement added.