Nigerians would go to the polls on March 9 to vote for new state governors and members of state houses of assembly.
The Plateau youth peace treaty was signed during a citizens interactive session with vulnerable groups on peaceful and credible elections,
organised by Centre for Peace Advancement in Nigeria (CEPAN) with support from Search for Common Ground.
The agreement was signed by communities from Jos North and South Local Government Areas comprising Tudun-Wada , Ungwan Rogo,
Rikkos and Gada-biyu, among others.
Rev. Samuel Goro, the Executive Director of CEPAN, said youths should be peace ambassadors and must shun any action that could trigger violence.
He said that for a violent free election, certain measures must be complied with, saying that people should not be forced to vote for candidates against their wish.
He added that “voters should not be intimidated to vote certain candidates and open campaign on election day should not be allowed.”
He urged youths to desist from drugs intake and engaging in uneccessary arguments during the elections, saying it could provoke negative reactions.
“Uneccesary delay in conveying electoral materials to polling units and incomplete materials have been found to cause agitations by youths who perceive
deprivation of their right to vote their choice leaders.
“I urge INEC not to delay result announcement and to avoid cancelling elections without evidence of electoral malpractice because this could
trigger negative reactions too.”
Miss Grace Dalla from Jos North Local Government Area, said some People With Disabilities (PWDs) had challenges accessing their polling units,
saying the EC40H forms for their data were not issued.
She, however, added that the people were among the first to vote during election.
Mr Abdullahi Musa , a youth leader from Unguwan Rogo, cautioned party supporters against “violent” celebrations after elections, saying
that the attitude was unwholesome and could trigger violence.
Those at the interactive session included reformed drug addicts, women leaders and youth leaders who served as peace ambassadors in their various
Kogi, Bayelsa Polls: CYMS cautions youths against violence, vote-buying
The Director-General, CYMS, Mr Obinna Nwaka, made the call in statement on Friday in Lokoja, saying that the youths of both states should desist from any activities detrimental to their future.
Nwaka also advised politicians to shun vote buying, saying that CYMS will not hesitate to report individuals or political parties that violate the rules to law enforcement agencies for immediate prosecution through its reports.
He noted that the utterances and actions coming out of these states in relation to the governorship elections following the pre-election assessment was capable of causing problem in the states.
He said that in a bid to promote good governance and ensure youth participation in electoral process the organisation had trained and deployed young people as election observers in line with the INEC’s pre-election activities.
He also called on the security personnel to take all necessary steps to mobilise strategically to counter political violence, paying particular attention to prevent or checkmate fake officials that could be used to disrupt electoral process.
“The security should secure the environment from inflow of external forces with intention to rig or destroy the election and ensure effective non-partisan response that will prevent further erosion of confidence in our electoral process.
“INEC should be firm and have a consistent stance on the use of the card readers and uphold our electoral standards with quick respond where election materials are hijacked and diverted,” he said.
Nwaka, therefore, encouraged all the electorate in the two states to turn out en masse and cast their votes for any candidates of their choice and support the INEC in ensuring free, fair and conclusive election.
Edited by Felix Ajide
Bayelsa Guber: Yenegoa residents say, “we are ready’’ for election
One of them, Douye Famous, a taxi driver, said he was travelling to Tumgbo town, Sagbama Local Government Area to exercise his franchise.
Famous said his only worry was the heightening tension in some parts of the state, saying “I am praying that we will have a secure environment to participate’’
“I am leaving Yenagoa for Sagbama, I must make sure that I am at my place of registration to vote for the party of my choice.’’
Another resident, Mr Ebi Seifaa, a civil servant said he was travelling to Kolokuma Opokuma for the election.
“As you can see, I am ready to travel to my village for the election; I am emotionally and physically ready to cast my vote.
“INEC has told us that they were ready to conduct the election, as a responsible citizen, I am also ready to do my part,’’ he said.
Speaking to NAN at the Fire Service Jetty, Mr Inatimi Walter, a businessman, expressed optimism that the election would be hitch-free.
He said that assurances from security agencies had rekindled hopes in the people that the election would be without crisis.
Walter, an indigene of Akassa in Brass Local Government Area, said that he was travelling through water to ensure that he voted during the election.
“I will travel for a minimum of two hours on water before getting to my village; I am leaving earlier so that I will be home on time,’’ he said.
NAN reports that already, the Independent National Electoral Commission has begun the distribution of sensitive materials to the Registration Area Centres.
Edited by Cecilia Odey/Kayode Olaitan
Senate President calls for synergy among NASS, houses of assembly
President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan has called for synergy among the National Assembly and houses of assembly in the discharge of their statutory responsibilities.
Lawan said the assemblies at both state and national levels should continue to exchange ideas on how to support lawmaking.
His Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi in a statement on Friday, said that Lawan made the call in a meeting with speakers of houses of assembly who came on a courtesy visit.
“We should have more and deeper frequent engagements between the National Assembly and the houses of assembly.
“We need to be talking; we need to be engaging ourselves because there are certain things that we have to do together, especially the constitutional amendment in which National Assembly takes the lead.
“But the state houses of assembly will continue to have to play their roles as well, we should not wait to be thirsty before we dig a well and we should always be proactive,” Lawan said.
Lawan further said that there were certain legislation that required some domestication or replication at the state level.
“This is because even if we implement them at the national level and the states have not bought into it, it is going to have very limited success,” he said.
Lawan also encouraged the speakers at the state houses of assembly to have cordial working relationship with their respective executives without necessarily compromising their independence.
“Without allowing yourselves to be subjugated, you still must ensure that you work together with the executives arm of government in your states to produce legislation that will change the lives of the people,” Lawan said.
Responding to a request for the senate president intervention with regards to the financial autonomy of the state legislature, Lawan assured them that he would approach the matter on their behalf through the Governors’ Forum.
Spokesman for the delegation, Assemblyman Sheriff Oborevwori, who is the Speaker of Delta House of Assembly, expressed concerns that the state executive had yet to give effect to the issue of the financial autonomy of the state legislature.
Oborevwori urged the senate president to help them take the issue up with the president for possible issuance of executive order.
Lawan, however, said that the question of executive order would not be necessary because it is a constitutional matter which should be complied with by the state authorities.
Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Kayode Olaitan
Roads: Ondo Govt begins rehabilitation of failed portions
Ondo State Government has started the rehabilitation of the failed portions of both State and Federal roads across the 18 Local Government Areas of the state.
The state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye, made this known to newsmen in Akure on Friday.
He said that the state government had to carry out the repair as it had become inevitable.
The commissioner explained that different equipment had been deployed to the Valentino Junction of the Ondo-Ife road, where the rehabilitation work began.
“We are working here to fix this road because our people are the end users. If Federal Government stands not to refund money spent on its roads by state government; notwithstanding we must also do our own part.
“There is no doubt about the fact that the present administration has a reputation for quality road infrastructure.
“We cannot turn a blind eye while these roads go into total ruin. This is not the first time we are doing this.
“We did same at Owo-Ikare and Owo-Ipele roads,’’ he said.
Mr Raimi Aminu, the Special Adviser to Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu on Works, Lands and Infrastructure, said the failed portions and other potholes in Ondo would be attended to at almost the same time.
Aminu said the rehabilitation works were delayed by the prolonged rainy season, saying that all is set for full work on the roads.
Mrs Lola Fagbemi, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, commended Gov. Akeredolu for showing love and responsiveness to Ondo people’s plight.
Tomide Akinribido, a member representing Ondo West in the State House of Assembly, described the rehabilitation as a thing of joy.
Akinribido said that the governor was demonstrating to the world that democracy was meant to solve people’s challenges.
Edited by Remi Koleoso/Adeleye Ajayi
Bayelsa: INEC moves sensitive materials to RACs, calls for peace
Nigeria News Agency correspondent who monitored the distribution on Friday in Yenagoa reports that INEC officers, party agents, both national and international observers were present early at the Central Bank of Nigeria for the exercise.
Mr Monday Udoh, the Resident Electoral Commission (REC), told journalists that INEC was fully ready to conduct credible election for the people.
“We are here to observe and monitor the movement of the materials; the sensitive materials are ballot paper, result sheets and card readers.
“The distribution is moving smoothly, the security agents are here and National Union of Road Transporter Workers (NURTW) are also with us. The police have deployed many of their men for this and the election proper.
“The electorate should be civil, peaceful, conduct themselves well and listen to instructions, especially from the security personnel,” he said.
On court granting APC stay of execution to participate in the contest, the REC said, “For now, the political parties are participating unless if there is any order, we can disqualify the affected party”.
But Mr Tari Ere, a local government party agent for All Progressives Congress (APC) for Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, expressed worried over seeming unavailable materials, including result sheets.
“What is keeping us here are wards 9, 10, 11 voters registers and we are good to go; although, we are having some issues in ward 15 Southern Ijaw, result sheets were not available.
“But they brought a replacement sheets, which has been certified, so we are good to go and we are very comfortable with the distribution processes,” Ere said.
Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Kayode Olaitan
Kogi guber poll: Fulfil your your promise to PWDs, group tells INEC
The Inclusive Friends Association (IFA) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stand by its commitment of providing braille ballot guide and magnifying glasses for visually-impaired voters during the governorship election holding in Kogi State on Saturday.
The Executive Director of IFA, Grace Jerry, who made the call during a press conference in Lokoja on Friday, also called on the commission to provide materials that would aid smooth participation of other categories of physically-challenged persons in the election.
Jerry urged the electoral umpire to ensure effective and consistent use of Form EC40H to capture data of persons living with disabilities.
“The INEC should fully enforce its policy of priority voting for PWDs so that PWDs with physical difficulties are not required to stand in line for long hours as witnessed in previous elections,” she said.
The organisation called on the police and other security agencies to protect voters living with disabilities and election observers who are the most vulnerable to incidents of electoral violence.
Jerry, who is also the Convener, Access Nigeria , said that 200 observers would be deployed for the election.
She said that the move would enable them to assess the ability of physically challenged persons to access the polling units and exercise their franchise.
Edited by Oluwole Sogunle
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