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Polls: Don’t Try anything Stupid, NGE urges INEC, security agencies

The Nigerian Guild of Editors, or NGE, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, or INEC, security agencies, and other stakeholders not to disappoint the people. The country is on the verge of another democratic transition of government, with elections for Governorship and State Houses of Assembly on March 11 and Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 25.

The umbrella organization of all Nigerian editors stated in a communiqué that was signed by its President, Mustpha Isah, and the General Secretary, Iyobosa Uwugiaren, at the conclusion of its Standing Committee in Abeokuta, the weekend capital of Ogun State, that Nigerians expected free, fair, and credible elections free of violence.

“We call on INEC to fulfill its promise to early deploy electoral materials to polling units on election days and to ensure that its employees’ conduct does not deviate from the Electoral Act and other election-related laws.
Related Information: Okonkwo, a member of the PDP PCC and Okowa to Nigerians: Polls: PDP will reverse the trend of poverty and hardship Why we support Tinubu running for president: YGC “The NGE notes that all eyes will be on the operation of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, and urges the electoral body to ensure that the devices are in top shape, to perform optimally, and actualise the intended purpose of their introduction during the elections,” the statement added.

Additionally, the editors urged the electoral body to ensure the secrecy of ballots by ensuring that voters refrain from using cameras while voting and that its cubicles are well-placed to achieve this.

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The Guild urged the security agencies to be impartial and ensure that voters can freely exercise their franchise in a peaceful environment free of intimidation, pointing to the security agencies’ crucial role in ensuring free, fair, and credible elections.

The Guild also advised the security agencies to provide adequate security for electoral officials and materials and to keep an eye out for vote buyers in order to catch and prosecute those who buy votes.

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Communicating worry over the exercises of a few ideological groups starting from the initiation of the continuous missions, the editors encouraged ideological groups and their possibility to carry on reasonably and urge their allies the need to stay away from viciousness previously, during and after the surveys.

The NGE added, “We call on politicians to avoid inducing voters through vote buying and to let their party manifestos and campaign promises guide the electorate in making their choices.”

On election day, “The Guild calls on the electorate to come out to perform their civic rights by speaking with their votes and to avoid voter apathy,”

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The NGE urged the media to be professional in their reporting and to ensure proper fact checking prior to publication, noting that the media have a role to play in ensuring free and fair elections.

In addition, the editors urged all parties involved, including Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), local and international election monitors, and observers, to carry out their responsibilities in accordance with the law in order to guarantee that the country will hold yet another election and transition that is successful.

The Guild also mentioned the problems with the cashless policy right now and told the government, especially the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to fix any problems that could affect how the general elections went.

The Guild thanked the government of Ogun State for creating an atmosphere that made it possible for the Standing Committee meeting to take place in the state.

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