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Stakeholders in the Kogi State Governorship Election scheduled for Saturday, November 11, has been tasked to ensure a peaceful election in the state.
They are also instructed to conduct the election in the most professional manner possible.
Idris Ozovehe Muraina, chairperson of the Kogi NGOS NETWORK, gave the charge during the Security, CSOS, INEC, and Media Roundtable session on the peaceful gubernatorial election in Kogi State, held on Friday, November 10, 2023, at the Edge Drive Hotel Hall in Lokoja, Kogi State capital.
The occasion also saw the commissioning of a situation room where all relevant information relating to the election would be collated and processed for onward transmission to the appropriate quarters.
Ozovehe maintained that the peaceful conduct of the gubernatorial election in the state rests upon the collective shoulders of civil society organisations, security agencies, the media, and the Independent National Electoral Commission said, “We have a duty to uphold the democratic process and ensure the will of the people prevails”.
“Let us rise above personal interests and affiliations, and work together with professionalism, integrity, and a shared vision of a peaceful and prosperous Kogi State.”
According to Ozovehe, “It is imperative that stakeholders in the electoral process, uphold the highest standards of professional conduct to ensure a peaceful and fair election.”
Ozovehe urged the stakeholders to remain unbiased, impartial, and objective in their activities, saying, “Your role should be driven solely by the pursuit of truth, justice, and the best interests of the people of Kogi State. Let us work together to foster an environment that encourages the active participation of citizens and ensures their voices are heard.
“To the security agencies, your responsibility in maintaining law and order during elections cannot be overstated. It is crucial that you carry out your duties with the utmost professionalism, impartiality, and respect for human rights. Your role is to provide a safe and secure environment for citizens to exercise their right to vote freely.
The chairperson implored security agencies to be vigilant, proactive, and responsive to any potential threats or acts of violence and tasked them to work together to prevent any form of intimidation, harassment, or coercion that may undermine the integrity of the electoral process.
Ozovehe called on the media to exercise responsible journalism, adhering to the principles of fairness, accuracy, and impartiality.
“Report the news objectively, without sensationalism or bias. Your role is not only to inform but also to educate and enlighten the citizens of Kogi State by providing balanced coverage of the electoral process,” urged them to imbibe the culture of professionalism and contribute immensely to the promotion of peace and stability.
The chairperson called on INEC to ensure the conduct of free, fair, credible, and verifiable elections and urged them to discharge their duties with unwavering integrity, transparency, and efficiency. Safeguard the sanctity of the electoral process by ensuring the prompt deployment of electoral materials, strict adherence to guidelines, and the effective management of the entire electoral process.