By Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY – THE leadership, Edo State Council, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ Friday condemned the violent dimension in the coming election in Edo state just as he reiterated the union’s commitment in partnering a Civil Society organisation on election monitoring, Yiaga Africa in “sensitising, educating and enlightening the citizens of the state on the need of peaceful election.”
Chairman of the Union, Sir Roland Osakue stated this while delivering his goodwill message at a one-day interactive session with the media practitioners put together by Yiaga Africa in Benin.
Osakue condemned a situation where young people allow themselves to be used by politicians during elections.
The NUJ chairman who cited voting buying as one of the new trends in the nation’s politics said politicians who felt rigged out in the electoral process should seek redress in court rather than indulging in the act that will undermine the peace and tranquillity of the citizens of the state.
He said: “Election is not a do or die affair, the supporters of these politicians have taken it to a point that they must get it at all time and the most of the people they use are youths. Youths have become tools especially when they are induced financially.
“If elections must be free and fair the rules must be adhered to. The umpire must not be biased and the players must play by the rules are not compromised, election will be violent free”
Earlier, Director of Programmes, Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu, said one of the core objectives of the NGO is to see that there is peaceful election in the state noting that it is also their hope that there is massive turnout of voters in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Also, the Programmes Manager, Elections, Mr. Paul James, said Yiaga Africa has trained 500 personnel to be sent to the various polling units, 24 supervisors and 18 Local Government observers while one person is to be in charge of the state.
He said the essence of the personnel trained by Yiaga Africa was to ensure that the election is properly monitored.