November 16 polls won’t be tea party, YIAGA warns INEC
• Says political party activities skeletal
• Catholic bishops charge Kogi electorate to vote wisely
Following a large number of political parties that are expected to participate in the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections on November 10, 2019, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) Africa has warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to expect increased pressure on its polling officials.
YIAGA, in its Pre-election Observation Report released yesterday in Abuja by its Executive Director, Samson Itodo, urged INEC to beef up its oversight and monitoring mechanisms to further strengthen and ensure compliance to electoral laws and guidelines, while avoiding unnecessary postponement of polls.
It stressed the need for INEC to come up with a robust mechanism and collaborate with both state and non-state actors to curb the menace of buying and selling of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and other forms of voter inducement.
The group urged political parties to invest in getting out votes and mobilising voters to turn out peacefully to vote and not delve into undemocratic ways like vote-buying to win elections.
It also called the candidates and their supporters to promote unity and peaceful election by refraining from any form of physical or verbal attack on opponents or their supporters.
“All political parties, especially in Kogi State, should increase their activities of engaging voters with their policy plan while soliciting support and votes,” it stated.
YIAGA Africa also said that political party activities, especially campaign rallies, were minimal in Kogi and Bayelsa states, as none of the popular political parties in the two states seems not to be engaging the voters.
This was contained in a press statement issued by the Media Officer, Mr. Moshood Isah, in Lokoja yesterday.
Meanwhile, Catholic bishops in Kogi have charged the electorate to vote wisely to elect credible leaders with the fear of God for good governance in the state.
The charge was contained in a Pastoral Message to the people of the state signed by the Bishop of Lokoja Diocese, Martins Olorunmolu, and his Idah counterpart, Anthony Adaji, in Lokoja yesterday.
The bishops believe that God loves Kogi and wants the people to live in peace and harmony.
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