. As Attah Igala restates traditional rulers’ neutrality
The Nigeria Police, Kogi State command has promised to ensure unbiased and highly effective coverage of the November 16, governorship election.
Commissioner of Police in the state, Hakeem Busari, said this was aimed at ensuring free and fair election; as well as credible and acceptable results.
Busari made this known in Lokoja, while addressing more than 500 youth from across the state that held a procession to sensitise voters on a non-violent poll in the state.
The youth were bearing placards with inscriptions such as “Vote Not Fight’’ and “Election No Be War,’’
The police commissioner, who commended the youths for the initiative, said the police and other security agencies would ensure security of lives and property before, during and after the election.
“We will deploy enough personnel because we are going to have adequate support from the inspector general of police from the Force Headquarters.
“The polling booths and the wards are going to be properly policed and enough policemen will be on patrol. So we do not have anything to fear as far as the Nov. 16 election is concerned,’’ Busari said.
He advised politicians and other stakeholders to “play the game according to the rules’’ and conduct themselves in a peaceful manner to make the work of security agents easy.
Earlier, Prof. James Apam, state Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) pledged that the commission would do nothing short of ensuring free, fair and credible election.
Apam, who was represented by Alhaji Ahmed Bagudu-Biambo, Head, Voter Education and Publicity, Kogi state INEC, also commended the youths for the initiative.
He noted that election violence had far-reaching consequences, as the vulnerable, women and children were affected, and many electorate were often disenfranchised.
Presenting their “Vote, Not Fight’’ youths position, leader of the group, Mrs Gift Omoniwa, said it was time to end the cycle of using youths as thugs to perpetrate electoral violence.
Omoniwa, who noted that youths constituted more than 60 per cent of the state’s population, and also represented majority of registered voters, had regrettably remained marginalised and under-represented in decision making.
“When election violence occurs, the youths, their mothers, sisters and persons living with disabilities are the first victims. Today, we have come to say no to electoral violence.
“We hereby state our firm resolve to shun violence in the November 16 2019, Off Cycle Governorship Election in Kogi State. For us, non-violent and peaceful election is non-negotiable.
“We remind all the political parties and their gladiators that the legitimacy of any government lies in its emergence from a peaceful, free, fair and credible election,’’ she added.
The programme was organised by the Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID) in collaboration with 2Baba Foundation and others, with support from ActionAid, National Democratic Institute, Enough is Enough, USAID and UKAID.
Meanwhile, the Attah Igala, Dr. Michael Ameh-Oboni II, on Wednesday, said traditional rulers were apolotical and insulated from party politics.
The Attah, who is also the chairman, Kogi State Traditional Council, said this when Rear Adm. Usman Jibrin, former chief of naval staff and governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), called on him for royal blessings at his palace in Idah.
Ameh-Oboni said the political game was not about noise making but about hard work.
He therefore, urged various aspirants jostling for the position of governor in the Nov. 16 governorship election in the state to work hard
He also advised their supporters not to rest on their oars until the ambition was realised saying: “We are apolitical. There is little we can do politically. Your supporters should work hard and deliver you at the polls,” he said.
The monarch used the occasion to confer one of the highest traditional titles of the land on Jibrin, saying “today, I pronounce and confer the title, ‘Oga Attah Igala’ on him, though he is a prince of the Igala nation.
“Usman Jibrin is a great man. He is a man of integrity. He is a man of history. He is a great son of the land.
“The last time my people saw presence of naval base in the kingdom was between 1840 and 1841, but he brought a naval base to Idah when he was chief of naval staff in the country.”
He commended the aspirant for his great contributions to development and advancement of Igala nation and prayed for him to clinch the party’s ticket to contest the governorship election.
In his remark, Adm. Jibrin said the state had been bedevilled by challenges which he said he was determined to address.
The aspirant stressed that he was on a rescue mission, saying that the situation in the state requires his kind of person who has the knowledge, experience and exposure “to stabilise the ship and make it afloat again.”