By Stephen Adeleye
The Kogi NGOs Network (KONGONET) in partnership with Connected Development Initiative (CODE), have engaged critical stakeholders toward ensuring peaceful election in Kogi.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the group also inaugurated “Uzabe Situation Room” to monitor the situation reports of the Kogi, Balyesa and Imo governorship election.
In his remarks, the Executive Director of CODE, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Mr Hamzat Lawal, said the surge in civic engagement during elections signified a collective desire for leaders who were accountable.
Lawal stressed the need for citizens to aspire to be more actively involved in shaping the future of our communities, states and country.
Lawal, who is an International Election Observer, acknowledged the crucial roles played by the media and civil society organisations in the nation’s democratic process.
He charged the media organisations to be committed to transparency, accountability, and the dissemination of information, describing it as fundamental to the success of any election.
“I want to take this opportunity to admonish us all, In the pursuit of our respective mandates, let us be guided by the principles of fairness, accuracy, and responsibility.
“The power we wield in shaping public opinion comes with a great responsibility, and we must wield it judiciously.
“I urge all citizens to exercise their right to vote. It is your responsibility to choose leaders who will steer the course for the next four years.
“To our dedicated security personnel, I commend your efforts, and let us continue working together to ensure the safety of lives and property,” he said.
He added: “Let us unite for a peaceful election, upholding the principles of our democracy. Importantly, let us reject violence unequivocally.
“Regardless of individual preferences, let us have faith in the electoral process and commit to upholding the tenets of democracy.”
On his part, Mr Idris Muraina, the Chairperson of KONGONET, urged critical stakeholders in election in Kogi to uphold the highest professional standard to enable INEC achieve peaceful and successful conduct of the election.
Muraina emphasised the need for collective effort towards building trust in the electoral system, saying the Will of the people should be respected by the stakeholders.
According to him, the peaceful conduct of the gubernatorial election in the state rest on the collective shoulders of CSOs, security agencies, the media, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“Let us rise above personal interests and affiliations, and work together with professionalism, integrity, and a shared vision of a peaceful and prosperous Kogi.
“It is imperative that stakeholders in the electoral process, uphold the highest standards of professional conduct to ensure a peaceful and fair election,” Muraina said.
He urged the stakeholders to remained unbiased, impartial, and objective in the discharge of their duties, saying
“Your role should be driven solely by the pursuit of truth, justice in the best interests of the people of Kogi,” he said.
NAN reports that the engagement meeting was tagged: “Security, Civil Organisation and Media Round Table Discussion on Peaceful Governorship Election in Kogi”. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)