The Kogi NGOs Network (KONGONET), in partnership with Connected Development Initiative (CODE), have engaged critical stakeholders toward ensuring a peaceful election in Kogi.
The group also launched the ‘Uzabe Situation Room’ to monitor the situation reports of the Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo governorship elections.
CODE executive director Hamzat Lawal said the surge in civic engagement during elections signified a collective desire for accountable leaders.
Mr Lawal stressed the need for citizens to aspire to be more actively involved in shaping the future of our communities, states and country.
Mr Lawal, an international election observer, acknowledged the crucial roles played by the media and civil society organisations in the nation’s democratic process.
He urged the media organisations to be committed to transparency, accountability, and the dissemination of information, describing it as fundamental to the success of any election.
Mr Lawal added, “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 called for a peaceful election, “upholding the principles of our democracy” and rejecting violence “regardless of individual preferences, let us have faith in the electoral process and commit to upholding the tenets of democracy.”
KONGONET chair Idris Muraina urged critical election stakeholders in Kogi to uphold the highest professional standard to enable INEC to achieve peaceful and successful conduct of the election.
Mr Muraina emphasised the need for collective effort towards building trust in the electoral system, saying the stakeholders should respect the people’s will.
According to him, the peaceful conduct of the gubernatorial election in Kogi rests 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.