March 18: Journalists demand violence-free election in Enugu

Thu, Mar 16, 2023
By editor


JOURNALISTS under the umbrella of Enugu On Air Personalities (OAPs) Hangout Press has called for violence-free election in Enugu State during Saturday’s Governorship and Assembly elections.

The Chairman of OAPs, Mr Uche Gabriel, made the appeal in a communique the group issued on Wednesday in Enugu.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that OAPs is the group formed by Radio and Television journalists to promote common goals.

Gabriel said there were unnecessary and needless drums of war and campaign of calumny by seemingly desperate politicians in the state who want to win the polls by all means and at all costs.

This, he said, was seriously causing a lot of tension across the state and posing threat to voters from coming out to exercise their franchise on March 18.

He reiterated the need for politicians and their political parties to keep campaigns and the electoral processes issue based rather than calling for violence.

Gabriel however thanked Gov. Ifeany Ugwuanyi for demonstrating gallantry and sportsmanship even in the face of loss during the Senatorial election.

He said: “His post-election behaviour is worthy of emulation and as we transit to a change of baton, peace and public good must be upheld as much as possible.”

The chairman explained that propaganda, disinformation and misinformation were tools deployed by political parties to gain dominance and ascendancy.

He hinted that politicians ensure safe havens for their children and wards, they deploy the services of others children to do their dirty jobs of disrupting electoral processes.

According to him, some politicians kill or maim those who resist their desperation, adding that nobody’s political ambition is worth the life of any citizen, not even political thugs.

“Enugu OAPs, is by this communique appealing to all major stakeholders to do the best they can to ensure that the processes are not marred and there is no breakdown of law and order.

“We implore INEC to improve the processes of moving sensitive materials and staff to polling units early, ensure that voting commences early enough and ends early, and that results are transmitted at polling units,” Gabriel further urged.

The elections, he said, must be seen to be free, fair and credible, adding that security agencies must remain apolitical and ensure the safety of voters and other critical stakeholders.

“We want to congratulate South Easterners for waking up from political slumber and apathy.

“Your votes counted in the Presidential and National Assembly elections and will also count in the Governorship and House of Assembly elections.

“We want to remind you that the State and its constituencies are closer to the people and so should be taken as seriously as the presidential election, if not more,” he stressed.

On its part, he restated media renewed commitment to accurately report the elections. (NAN)