NOA raises concern on violence ahead guber polls
Ahead of the November governorship elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo states, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has raised concerns over possible violence during the elections.
The agency said politicians’ conduct as they go about their campaigns had not helped matters, even as the social media space continued to be a tool in the hands of party agents to spread lies, hate speech and misinformation.
Director-General, NOA, Garba Abari, said this, yesterday, during a two-day post-election review meeting for civil society organisations (CSOs) and groups that observed the 2023 general elections.
Organised by the agency in collaboration with Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa (PAACA), in Lagos, Abari said the meeting was aimed at harvesting the gains and areas of improvement ahead of future elections in the country.
He noted that major players in political parties and politicians had not yet understood the full import of the Electoral Act 2022 and the deployment of technology in elections.
Despite the successes of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in the last general elections, many still fear that their votes would not count, he said, calling everyone to come together and address the trust issue, to discourage apathy towards elections.
Part of the concerns, he noted, is in Bayelsa, stating that reaching the creeks may become a problem, due to the rainy season.
However, to address some of the issues raised, he said the NOA, in line with its mandate, had set out to mobilise Nigerians to register en masse and participate in the electoral process.
Executive Director of PAACA, Ezenwa Nwagwu, said for successful governorship polls across the three states, logistics needed to be improved.
“Security agents have to escort materials. We have to talk to vendors such as transport workers, maritime workers and the rest of the people, who contribute to ensuring that better logistics in the states. For these to be achieved, campaign has to start now.
Director, Democracy and Governance, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Prof. Adewale Aderemi, said Nigeria needed to make sure the Electoral Act 2022 is water-tight to avert illegitimate government.
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