Nov 11 polls: Electoral malpractice, violence negate democracy, CSOs warn

Posted by Timige, On 10 Nov, 2023 | Updated On 10 Nov, 2023 No Comments »


Ahead of the gubernatorial elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi states on November 11, 2023, the Council of Civil Society Groups, specifically the Civil Society Organizations on Community Advancement and Humanitarian Empowerment Initiative in Nigeria (CSCHEI), has issued a warning to political actors. They are cautioned against engaging in violence or electoral malpractice in the respective states.

In a statement released on Friday in Abuja, Kunle Yusuff, the Director-General of CSCHEI, emphasized that electoral malpractice and violence undermine the very essence of democracy. He stressed that election day is not a battlefield but a platform for peaceful and meaningful participation.

The former Presidential Aide noted that the electorate reserves the right to scrutinize the preparedness of the polls to ensure that necessary materials are in place for a free, credible, and transparent process.

Yusuff advised the electorate and agents of different political parties participating in the election to check various aspects, including the adequacy of polling stations, accuracy, and up-to-date voter registration lists.

“As the sun sets on the eve of the gubernatorial elections in Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo states, scheduled for Saturday, November 11, 2023, it is essential for every electorate to approach this critical democratic exercise with a sense of responsibility and a commitment to the principles of civility and democracy,” Yusuff stated.

He further highlighted the pivotal role security institutions play in ensuring a safe and peaceful environment for voters. He urged citizens to assess the readiness of these institutions and report any concerns or doubts to appropriate authorities for immediate action.

Regarding the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Yusuff stressed the importance of scrutinizing their preparedness for the polls. He encouraged vigilance to ensure necessary materials are in place, polling stations are adequate, and voter registration lists are accurate and up-to-date.

Yusuff emphasized the need for voters to focus on evaluating candidates and political parties based on their capacity to deliver on promises, track records, manifestos, and vision for their respective states.

In his concluding remarks, Yusuff reminded everyone that elections are a fundamental aspect of democracy and should be treated with civility and respect. He emphasized that election day is not a do-or-die affair but an opportunity for citizens to express their preferences peacefully.

“In conclusion, as we stand at the crossroads of democracy in Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo states, let us exercise our rights responsibly, hold those in charge accountable, and ensure that the festival of democracy is celebrated with honour and respect. The future of these states and the nation at large lies in our hands, and it is our duty to shape it wisely and justly.”

Source: State Oyo - Tribune

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