CAN tasks INEC, security agencies on peaceful polls
President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Archbishop Daniel Okoh, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the forthcoming general election is seamless, credible and violence-free.
He noted that INEC has no excuse to fail, stressing that four years was enough time for the electoral umpire to have perfected the process and eliminated the glitches witnessed in past polls.
This was as the commission yesterday reassured the business community in Enugu State of its readiness to conduct the most peaceful and transparent elections that would reflect the will of Nigerians.
Okoh, in a statement yesterday in Abuja, called on Nigerians to resist any attempt to cause disharmony and disaffection ahead of the elections.
He appealed to Nigerians to see the elections as a time of peaceful transition of leadership and not war, urging all and sundry to put away religious and ethnic bigotry and allow the will of God to prevail.
He also called on the authorities to beef up security, especially in communities vulnerable to attacks and ensure that no citizen is disenfranchised owing to the precarious security situation in parts of the country.
“We charge the security agencies to be unbiased and remain neutral while discharging their duties, especially during the forthcoming general election. CAN urges all the political parties and candidates seeking elective positions during the forthcoming general election to accept the results of the polls in good faith in the interest of Nigerians and the unity of the country,” he said.
Okoh noted that the current sufferings of the people caused by the gross shortage of naira notes in the system were gradually becoming unbearable and pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to intensity efforts to mitigate the hardship.
He urged Nigerians not to relent in praying for the country, saying prayer is the most potent instrument of warfare at their disposal.
“Let us remind ourselves that the economic, political and security situations in the country do not give joy to anyone, but keep our hopes alive at this time,” he added.
Speaking while receiving members of the Enugu Coalition of Business and Professional Associations (ECOBPA) led by its Chairman and President of Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), Jasper Nduagwuike, in Enugu, the Administrative Secretary of INEC, Chidi Nwafor, said the electoral umpire was encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by the people of the state in the forthcoming elections, stressing that more residents collected their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) than in previous elections.
“We are starting training for the election officers and Presiding Officers today (Saturday). Movement of non-sensitive materials has commenced to the 17 local governments and we have improved security in the local governments in the state. I am more confident that in 2023, more people will vote because more people have collected their cards than in the past elections we have done. So we are ready; we are in the election mood,” he said.
Chairman of ECOBPA, Nduagwuike, had stated that they were at the commission to interact with them on their readiness for the exercise because of the negative impact a flawed process could create on the economy, especially on the organised private sector.
He added: “We came here for an interactive session with the Commission based on the fact that should anything go wrong in the elections, it is the organised private sector that will suffer first. From our discussion, we want to say that we are glad with the openness the INEC has shown. This commission has nothing to hide from Nigerians and they are committed to ensuring that the exercise is a huge success. We believe them. We are confident that they will do a good job and at the conclusion of the elections, Nigerians will believe that good leaders have emerged and that they have voted according to their conscience.”
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