IDRIS AHMED, LOKOJA.
As the 2023 election gets closer, the Security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission in Kogi state, have warned politicians and political parties against vote buying, thuggery and other electoral malpractices before, during and after the elections.
The warning was handed down during the meeting of the Police, and other security agencies, with Stakeholders of political parties held on Tuesday at the Police command headquarters, Lokoja, Kogi state capital.
In his welcome address, the Commissioner of Police Kogi state command, Akeem Yusuf, promised that the Police will be neutral and a level playing ground provided for all political parties.
While advising politicians to play the game by the rules, the CP Yusuf solicited their cooperation so as to have a peaceful, credible and transparent election, warning that any form of violence or thuggery will met with maximum force .
The Commissioner of Police admonished the political parties and their candidates to educate their supporters on the dangers inherent in vote buying and acts of thuggery as the Command will be fully prepared for any form of breaches.
The Director of the Department of States Service (DSS), who assured the politicians of the professionalism of the Security agencies, said any attempt by person or groups no matter how highly placed to undermine their mandate will be fully resisted and dealt with decisively in accordance with the law.
The DSS boss, who recalled the mass voters apathy during the previous elections, blamed it on act of thuggery, which he said disenfranchised many prospective voters.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Kogi state, Dr. Hale Gabriel Longpet, in his goodwill message, commended the Police, and other security agencies for their usual cooperation and commitments during national assignments like election.
Dr Longpet appealed to political parties, Traditional Rulers, Stakeholders, Youth and Women to assist INEC in sensitizing the public on the conduct of the election as well as educating them on the danger’s of thuggery, vote buying and selling.
While assuring the people of INEC’s preparedness towards election, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, urged the electorate to feel free and cast their votes.
He disclosed that INEC has introduced new devices that will ensure, free,fair,credible and transparent election in 2023, and advised them to be civil through out the period of the election.
The Chairman of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), who spoke on behalf of other political parties, assured the Security agencies and the INEC of their cooperation and commitment to the conduct of a free fair credible and transparent election come 2023.
While thanking the Police and INEC for organizing the Stakeholders meeting also advised that there is the need for regular get together of this nature before the election in order to put the parties on their toes.
The meeting had in attendance, the AIG in charge of zone 8 Ashafa Adekunle and all heads of the para military agencies in Kogi state