The Centre for Transparency and Advocacy (CTA) has called for synergy between the police, political parties as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the November governorship election in Kogi, and Bayelsa states is free and credible.
Speaking during a Stakeholders Roundtable on the preparedness towards Kogi and Bayelsa state elections in Abuja, CTA Executive Director, Faith Nwadishi said, ensuring a better outcome for the two gubernatorial elections, requires collective responsibility of all relevant stakeholders, including citizens.
She urged political parties to ensure that they addressed issues of internal party democracy in electing their flag bearers to avoid litigations arising from primary elections.
Nwadishi said, “We understand that preparations are in top gear in the two states as political parties are inching toward their party primaries and as many interested candidates have collected nomination forms from their various political parties, we hope that the political parties will use this opportunity to address issues of internal party democracy in electing their flag bearers.
“This is interesting as this will usher in rubout issue-based campaigns and of course, we expect transparent primaries to avoid the acrimonious primaries as was experienced during the last 2019 general elections leading to several litigations in the courts.”
Also speaking, INEC national chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, said the non-sensitive materials needed for the elections will be delivered to both states on August 1 by the Commission.
Yakubu, who was represented by the commissioner Supervising Bayelsa, Edo, Rivers state and chair Legal services, May Agbamuche-Mbu, said the primary concern of all those involved in the elections is safe environment.
She said the Commission has since begun preparations in view of its commitment to conduct a credible election.
She said, “A primary concern for all those involved is the security of the environment and protection of the process. Accordingly, the commission will engage the security agencies in a series of consultative meetings in November to ensure a hitch free and violence free election.
“We will share our own threat assessment with the security agencies using our Election Violence Mitigation and Advocacy (EVMAT).”
Explaining further, she said, in order to ensure loyalty and neutrality of staff and ad-hoc staff taking part in the elections, the oath of neutrality form (EC 17) will be issued.
According to her, staff and ad-hoc staff taking part in the elections will swear an oath of neutrality and loyalty indicating that they would not accept bribe or gratification from any person.