By Amina Issa
Barely few hours to the much awaited governorship polls and parliamentary reruns in Bayelsa and Kogi States, political leaders, electorates and other electoral stakeholders have been urged to ensure that the sanctity of lives, properties and the ballot during the polls are guaranteed.
ROYAL NEWS reports that the Director of Voter Education, Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria, (IPAC), National Headquarters, Akinloye Oyeniyi, made the appeal in a statement issued on Friday.
According to the statement, “IPAC recently carried out its voters education and sensitization programmes in Kogi and Bayelsa on Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th of November respectively.
“While appraising the successes recorded during the said programmes, Oyeniyi reiterated that educating and sensitizing the voters is one of the core mandates of IPAC and the current Council under its President, High Chief Peter Ameh has placed high priority on the exercise in its bid to enhance promotion and consolidation of inclusive democracy in Nigeria.
He said: “elections are public opinions for leadership succession, withdrawal of obedience from non-performing and non-responsive political office holders, they are also to enhance effective continuation of a sovereign nation via people’s participation with effective equal voting rights of adult franchise.
“So, all hands must be on deck to guarantee security of lives and properties during the elections today. When we ensure electoral security, then we have conducive environment and increased public confidence in the electoral process. Because we would have removed threat to electoral democracy and improved the integrity of our electoral process”
“We, in IPAC during the programmes already engaged both leaders and electorates in the two states to excuse violence and actions inimical to the wishes and aspirations of their people during the governorship, Kogi West Senatorial District and Brass 1 State Assembly Constituency polls, and I am practically still begging everybody to please make sure we record huge success today”
Oyeniyi, who is an expert in legislative and electoral governance, also told both governments at all levels and Nigerians to “take people’s participation in politics serious because elections are instruments of legitimising a government, having enjoyed majority support from the citizens who have power and authority to form such government.
“Elections in democracy are also vital avenues for educating the masses. It is another democratic utility of election, where voters are educated on how they are the only ones permitted to put in place, keep and change governments; anything short of that is electoral authoritarianism which is a deliberate regular multi- parties’ elections but without adherence to the requirements of free, fair and credible election”
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