Kogi Guber: PIBCID, Vote not Fight position on violence at polling units

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The Participation Initiative for Behavioral Change in Development (PIBCID), has expressed surprise that the political parties are not keeping to their words of participating peacefully in today’s election as promised.

In a press conference in Lokoja, Halima Oiza Sadiq, Acting Executive Director of PIBCID and Kogi state coordinator said during peace meetings with youth leaders and state leadership of political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties signed peace pledges and promised to run peaceful campaigns.

The statement which reads in part said “Ahead of the Kogi 2019 governorship elections, the Vote Not Fight campaign being coordinated by the Participation Initiative for Behavioral Change in Development (PIBCID), 2Baba Idibia Foundation and youth focused civil society organizations in Kogi engaged in civic and voter education campaigns in all 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Kogi state to promote peaceful elections.

*The Vote Not Fight campaign has received reports of election violence and intimidation of voters across different polling units in Lokoja and other LGAs in Kogi State. From reports by the campaign coordinators and during visit to selected polling units in Lokoja, the campaign observed incidents of election violence.

“Specifically, the campaign observed ballot box snatching, sporadic gunshots, vote buying and intimidation of voters.

Below is a comprehensive list of locations were we have observed election violence thus far:
Crowther Memorial College Lokoja
LGEA Primary school Adankolo Lokoja, Fentolu street Lokoja
Muslim Community polling unit 023 Lokoja (police helicopter shooting from air) Felele (one-part system)
SUBEB Lokoja, Amole Baptist Road Lokoja, Holly trinity unit 002 Lokoja
Unit 025 Dekina (no voting)
Ajaka ward one unit 005 , Kabba Okebukun Ayetoro

“These incidents of electoral violence are sad and unacceptable. Our youth must not be used as instruments of violence and become victims at the same time. We call on all stakeholders, including security agencies, Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and political parties to urgently take immediate steps to maintain peace and order in the state. We call on INEC to cancel all the polling units where incidents of violence have been recorded in the State.

“We also call on Kogi youth to shun all forms of electoral violence and exercise their civic responsibilities peacefully. As we have always said the children of the politicians who sponsor electoral violence are not in Nigeria. We call on Kogi youth to use their better judgment.

“About Vote Not Fight campaign
The Vote Not Fight: Election No Be War is a non-profit, non-partisan, and youth-focused voter education campaign that has been promoting constructive youth participation in Nigeria’s political and electoral processes since the 2015 general elections.

“The campaign seeks to increase youth voter turnout and mobilize against hate speech, electoral violence and vote buying. The Vote Not Fight campaign reached 62 million Nigerians with voter awareness messages during the 2015 elections.

“The campaign has so far been implemented during two general elections (20-15 and 2019) and seven off-cycle governorship elections (Kogi (2015), Bayelsa (2015), Edo (2016), Ondo (2016), Anambra (2017), Ekiti (2018), Osun (2018). The 2019 governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States are the eighth and ninth.




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