The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged traditional and religious leaders to assist the commission in appealing to their subjects to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
“We also need you to educate your people on their civil right in participating actively in the electoral process,’’ INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Enugu State, Dr Emeka Ononamadu, said on Friday in Enugu.
Ononamadu made the appeal during a forum for traditional and religious leaders in Enugu State with the Theme: “Ways to Achieve Credible Elections in 2019 General Elections’’.
“We are beckoning on you again to discharge your traditional roles of facilitating peace participation and justice by ensuring that people participate in the general elections in a peaceful and orderly manner.
“First is to pick up PVCs and then come out to vote.
“As INEC continues to promise Nigerians credible 2019 elections, I am promising Ndi Enugu credible, free and fair elections devoid of violence.
“Remember that whatever happens (whether peace or violence) you will naturally take the burden of entrenching peace or cleaning up effects of violence in your communities.
“We will rely on you to give us early warning signs of violence or plan of actions of infractions that are likely to affect our elections. We will not fail to respond appropriately to them,’’ he said.
Earlier, Nkechinyere Igwe, Executive Director of South Sahara Social Development Organisation (SSSDO), said that the forum was meant for INEC to feel the pulse of the leaders in various communities in the state.
Igwe noted that synergy was necessary as INEC alone could not ensure a peaceful and credible 2019 polls without the support and inputs of stakeholders, especially critical ones like the traditional and religious leaders.
“We also want the leaders to help us to get down to the grassroots and educate our people there not to engage in negative election practices such as vote selling and buying; thuggery; violence and other forms of election irregularities,’’ she said.
Responding, Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu, Chairman of Enugu State Traditional Rulers’ Council, assured INEC of cooperation of the traditional and religious leaders at all times to keep peace in their domains.
Agubuzu, who spoke on behalf of the traditional and religious leaders, noted that it was evident that the existing partnership between INEC and the leaders had yielded much fruits in mobilisation for CVR registration and PVCs collection.
“We are assuring you of continuous cooperation; while we are going to advocate to our subjects to embrace peace and shun all tendencies capable of brewing trouble in our various communities.
“One thing we cherish in this state is the existing peace and security; and we will do everything possible to ensure it is maintained and even improved upon,’’ he assured.
The meeting was attended by traditional rulers from 17 council areas in the state as well as top officials of Christian Association of Nigeria.
The forum was organised by INEC in collaboration with the SSSDO. (NAN)
– Dec. 14, 2018 @ 15:36 GMT |