The Independent National Electoral Commission ((INEC) on Thursday charged youths in Kogi to tow the path of peace and resist any form of inducement to perpetrate violence in the 2015 General Elections.
Alhaji Hussein Pai, the state Resident Electoral Commission (REC) made the call at a peace rally organized by the state directorate of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and Kogi Non-Governmental Organisations Network (KONGONET) in Lokoja.
The rally tagged: “Hands on Kogi for Peace Project”, according to the organizers, was aimed at taking peace messages to the formal and informal groups in the state ahead of the 2015 general elections.
Pai urged the youths to shun acts of violence and resist anybody that would like to use them to perpetrate violence or cause electoral malpractices saying “We will continue to lend our support to any group that is charting the cause of peace.
“Because if peace is achieved, the environment will be conducive enough for people to exercise their franchise and thereby select or elect their popular choice.
“Once we have the popular choice, then we are most likely going to get good governance and that is what we are looking for”, he said, adding that INEC would be unbiased and undertake to ensure that all votes count.
Pai commended NOA and KONGONET for the rally saying, “INEC has said severally said that the commission alone, no matter how prepared we are, cannot deliver a successful, free, fair and credible election without the collaboration, assistance and support of other stakeholders.”
Director of NOA in the state, Mr Ibikunle Medubi speaking earlier, said the rally was organized in view of the charged political atmosphere adding that there was need for enlightenment and awareness creation on peace.
Medubi who was represented Mal. Mohammed Abdullahi, his Deputy Director; Programmes said it was important for the election to be conducted under a peaceful atmosphere to enable consolidation of the country’s democracy.
“No matter how elections are well-conducted, if the result is conflict-ridden and violent, it will definitely undermine the credibility of the electoral process. NOA enjoins Kogites to promote peace before, during and after the elections”, he said.
Speaking earlier, chairman of KONGONET, Mr Victor Adejoh said all hands must be on deck to ensure that the 2015 general elections were free, fair, credible and devoid of violence adding that all citizens had a role to play.
“We cannot afford to allow the Confluence state to experience violence in any form. We advise politicians to refrain from provocative and hate messages and call on security agencies to be proactive in their operations”, he said. (NAN)