Ahead of the 2019 general elections in Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), has called on traditional rulers and other stakeholders in Kogi State to assist the commission in sensitizing the people on the need for a Violent free election 2019.
It would be recalled that there have been tension and apprehension in Kogi State as a result of the result to violence, destruction of campaign materials by rival parties in the state with recent killing a man believed to a supporter of a senatorial candidate in the state.
This was just as the president of Kogi State council of Chiefs, and Attah Igala, Chief Michael Ameh Oboni the second urged politicians in the country to emulate former President Goodluck Jonathan who vulunteriry relingushed power as sitting President in 2015.
The kogi state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Professor James Apam, who made the call in Lokoja Kogi State capital on Monday during a meeting with traditional rulers in the state, however said the commission was worried over recent attacks on political opponents, saying that the royal fathers have a responsibility of educating their subjects on the need to maintain peace, before, during and after the elections.
According to him the signs of dangers and violence was already evident, saying that the new wave of destruction party’s posters, campaign bill boards and physical attacks on opponents are all danger signals ahead of the election.
He said the commission is equally worried about vote buying and selling, saying that the people must be made to be aware of the inherent danger in selling their votes.
The commissioner appealed to key prayers in the electioneering process to play the game by the rule, saying that election must not be do or die affairs.
Speaking further the Attah Igala, Michael Ameh Oboni and President, Kogi State council of Chiefs however called on the citizens of the state are at liberty to vote freely for candidates of their choice without fear of intimidation.
He said as traditional rulers they are apolitical, but however said that they have a responsibility to caution their subjects on the need to maintain peace in their various communities.
The royal father called on INEC to make the meeting a periodic one, instead of waiting until election is close, saying that such crash programme will not do the people any good.
In his contribution the state Director of National Orientation Agency, (NOA), Mall Muhammed Abdullahi, said his Agency was already carrying out various sensitization programmes across the 21 local councils in the state, so as to create awareness on the negative consequences of election violence. .
He said among the things the agency is sensitizing the people about is the need for politicians and their supporters to conduct themselves peacefully.
The agency therefore appealed to citizens to conduct themselves peacefully before, during and after the election.