A civil society organization accredited by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to observe the 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa states gubernatorial elections, Voters Awareness Initiative (VAI), has admonished all stakeholders participating, to maintain peace, before, during and after the polls.
In a statement issued in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital on Thursday 14th November, 2019 by the President and Director of Programmes of the organisation, Wale Ogunade and Nelson Ekujumi respectively, the group admonished stakeholders to allow the will of the people to be exercised in an atmosphere devoid of fear, violence or intimidation in line with the tenets of democracy.
The group also charged the Independent INEC to ensure timely arrival of functional and adequate election materials and personnel at polling stations and be unbiased in the discharge of it’s functions.
The security agencies were called upon to deploy their personnel in a professional and strategic manner that will make them less visible so as not to create an atmosphere of heavy security presence, while urging them to be professional and neutral as they respond to challenges that might arise before, during and after the polls.
The political parties were equally enjoined to call on their supporters to be peaceful, orderly and refrain from any conduct before, during and after the polls that could jeopardize the peace of Kogi and Bayelsa states for the sake of our democracy.
Both local and international observers were called upon to carry out their assignment on election day in line with the rules of engagement in order to deepen Nigeria’s democracy.
The media was not left out of the call for a professional and unbiased coverage and reportage because of it’s indispensable role as the watchdog of the society.
Finally, the group wished the people of Kogi and Bayelsa States, a free, fair and peaceful elections in which the will of the people as expressed at the polls would triumph to the glory of God and our democracy.