The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kogi State, Prof. James Apam, yesterday, expressed worries over possible violence during the November 16 governorship election in the state.
Apam disclosed this at the unveiling of “Get Out The Vote (GOTV), Voter Education and Stop Violence Against Women In Politics (STOP VAWIP)” campaign projects and multi-stakeholders’ meeting, in Lokoja.
He said that INEC had, on several occasions, prepared to conduct credible elections and would have always put necessary machinery in place to ensure free, fair and acceptable elections only for such elections to be disrupted by violence.
The REC said that the commission intended to correct the flaws identified in past elections during the forthcoming election, saying: “we intend to correct them and make this one a test case for elections in this country.
“INEC is doing everything possible to organise free, fair and credible governorship election in November. We have met with traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the state on the way forward.
“People always blame INEC when there is problem, but the truth of the matter is that in most cases, the electorate and politicians are responsible for the problems.
“Yes, on our part, we normally encounter some problems but I can assure you that some of these problems will be solved before, during and after election. Our main worry has always been violence.
“You spent a lot of time to prepare for elections, putting resources together, training men and women for the exercise.
“You send them to the field for the exercise and all of a sudden, someone with a gun appears and starts shooting and before you know what is happening, everything has been disrupted.”
Apam, therefore, enjoined parents, especially women, to help talk to their children and wards on the need to eschew violence, adding that with absence of violence, there would be massive turnout during the election and the exercise would be hitch-free.
The REC also urged the electorate to conduct themselves in an orderly manner before and during the election to enhance smooth exercise.
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Bode George Urges FG To Relax Lagos Lockdown
A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George has urged federal government to relax the lockdown it imposed on Lagos State as a result of COVID- 19 pandemic.
George, who made the call in a statement in Lagos, yesterday said the lockdown imposed since March 29 was adversely affecting livelihoods and bringing up security challenges.
He said though government intended to curb the spread of the virus with the lockdown, the directive had left many Nigerians hungry at home without palliatives.
The PDP chieftain noted that there must be a balance between curbing the spread of the virus and protecting livelihoods and asked the government to relax the lockdown while putting safety measures in place.
“Everywhere in Lagos is now locked down. The markets, banking halls, the local grocery shops, the supermarkets, the transportation services are all halted, frozen by the federal government directives since March 29.
“On the surface level, the federal government’s position is to ensure safety, prevent communal spread of the virus and banish this scourge from our shores.
“Lagosians have been staying at home for about a month now. In a largely informal economy where most of our people depend on daily wages, the burden of lack of income is devastating.
“There is a natural growing anger in Lagos as the most vulnerable are ravaged with hunger,” George said.
Prince Charles, Kagame, Others Condole Buhari Over Loss Of Kyari
Prince Charles has condoled with President Muhammadu Buhari, the government and people of Nigeria over the death of Abba Kyari, the former Chief of Staff to the President.
According to a statement by Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in Abuja, last Wednesday, Prince Charles described the death of Mallam Kyari was “a desperately sad news”.
Prince Charles regretted that the death of Kyari had occurred through “this pernicious virus…I can only begin to imagine what an immense gap Mr. Kyari’s untimely death will leave in Your Excellency’s life and my heart goes to you and Mr Kyari’s family”.
In a message through the Embassy of Rwanda in Abuja, President Paul Kagame, the government and people of Rwanda extended their heart-felt condolences to the Nigerian leader.
Kagame used the opportunity “to express solidarity to the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as we are faced with the Covid-19 global crisis”.
The former Vice president, Architect Namadi Sambo in his own message to the President, described the death of Abba Kyari as a “monumental national loss”.
In his condolence message to the president, an industry leader and businessman, Abdulsamad Rabi’u said he was deeply saddened by what he described as “this colossal loss”.
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