Presidential election : Kogi REC  berates electoral violence in Kogi East, others .

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Kogi state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC),Professor James Apam has decried the widespread electoral violence in Kogi East Senatorial District during the February 23, Presidential/National Assembly elections in the state.

 

Professor Apam dropped this hints on Wednesday during a review of the February 23, polls at a stakeholders meeting preparatory to the March 9, State Assembly and Dekina/Bassa supplementary elections in the state.

 

The REC expressed dismay over the electoral violence which claimed three lives and disrupted elections in over 157 polling units in the senatorial district with 89 units in Dekina/Bassa Federal Constituency alone.

 

He regretted that a pick-up van loaded with electoral materials  was burnt down by thugs at Dekina while in Ogori-Magongo Local Government, eight polling units with card readers and other materials were destroyed.

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Professor Apam urged the electorates and  stakeholders in the state to have a change of mind and avoid violence in next Saturday’s elections.

 

While he implored perpetrators of violence in the area to desist from encouraging youths and providing arms for electoral violence, professor Apam said the nation was rather retrogressing rather than progressing in its development.

 

The REC  promised to take up complaints of card readers malfunction and resort to manual voting

 

Processor Apam who said that card readers would be fully deployed and used in the Saturday Governorship/State Assembly elections throughout the country pointed out that should the card reader be by-passed, compromised or not used for any reason at any polling unit, results from such unit would be cancelled.

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However, he declared the readiness of the commission for the March 9, State Assembly and Dekina/Bassa  supplementary elections in the state, adding distribution and despatch of materials would commence on Thursday.

 

Meanwhile, Stakeholders at the meeting expressed disappointment over alleged compromise on the part of some INEC Presiding Officers, absence of (in some cases) and inadequate security officers.

 

In his remarks, the Secretary of Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI), Alhaji Isah Adeboye urged traditional and religious leaders to address the challenge of electoral violence,  commending  the Ata Igala, Dr Ameh-Oboni for placing ancestral curses on perpetrators of electoral violence in Kogi East.

 

In the same vein, one of the stakeholders, Dr Omakoji Oyiguh, representing Onu-Igala Lokoja, commended INEC for trying to deepen democratic practice in the country but regretted the failure of security agencies to secure lives and property during the exercise.

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Oyiguh held that the Nigerian nation owed the Igala people of Kogi East Senatorial District an apology for failing to secure the lives of the electorates as a three persons, including a 300-level student of Kogi State University, Anyigba, Daniel Usman, lost their lives.

 

The Kogi state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Busari, represented by DCP Operations, Kabiru Gwarzo regretted that most of the complaints from stakeholders over the February 23, outing were “genuine and true”.

 

However, he urged the electorate to come out en-masse and exercise their franchise on saturday, assuring that the command will ensure security of lives during and after the elections”.




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