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YIAGA: Kogi, Bayelsa guber polls must be credible

YIAGA: Kogi, Bayelsa guber polls must be credible
August 26
19:29 2019
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YIAGA Africa, a policy advocacy group, has called for peaceful and credible governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.

In a statement on Monday, Samson Itodo, YIAGA África executive director, however, said informed citizen participation is essential for the polls to be free and fair.

He also said the organisation has met various stakeholders to ensure successful conduct of the exercise.

The two states are billed to hold their governorship elections in November.

“There is need for election stakeholders to put mechanisms in place to ensure a participatory credible and peaceful elections in the states,” Itodo said in the statement.

“As the largest citizen movement committed to credible elections in Nigeria, YIAGA AFRICA’s Watching The Vote (WTV) has commenced advocacy visits to election stakeholders in both Bayelsa and Kogi states.

“This is in a bid to share our election observation deployment plan, seek stakeholder buy-in and explore areas of collaboration as well as provide information on the pre-election observation deployment for Bayelsa and Kogi.”

He said among the stakeholders the group has met through its Watching The Vote (WTV) team include officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Bayelsa state, the state security chiefs and traditional rulers.

“The team is glad that the REC and the elections team are receptive to our plan to deploy Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) election observation, which remains the gold standard for election observation across the world,” he said.

“The visit to security agency enabled us analyse and share early warning systems against security threats for immediate response ahead of the elections.

“While informed citizen participation is vital to a credible election, we believe that not only the electoral commission has a role to play in educating voters; other stakeholders including religious and traditional leaders can play huge roles as influencers to their followers in preaching the credible and peaceful polls.”

Itodo said the group also met with the Ijaw Elders Forum “who declared readiness to work for credible election”.

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