The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Niger State, Prof. Sam Egwu has urged political parties to cooperate with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure smooth implementation of the electoral process in the state.
Egwu, while addressing stakeholders at the commission headquarters in Minna on Monday, said that it was only through their cooperation that the commission would be able to conduct a hitch-free poll in 2023.
In reference to the Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) camps in 14 of the 25 local government areas of the state, Egwu clarified that it was not the commission’s responsible to transport voters from those camps in bandit-prone areas to safer places to exercise their franchise.
He blamed voter apathy during elections on non-performance of political office holders and appointees, alleging that they often disengaged themselves from voters upon being elected or appointed.
‘This usually makes it impossible for those that voted them into office to reach them again.
‘Next time when you ask them to come out and vote, they feel reluctant’, Egwu analysed.
On his part, the Commissioner of Police for the state, Mr Monday Bala Kuyas said that the ‘Police is not resting on its oars to ensure the conduct of free, fair and violence-free elections in 2023’.
Kuyas disclosed that the command had recorded success stories in the battle against bandits in recent times.
‘I am giving 100 per cent assurance to all law-abiding residents that a formidable security network had been set in motion to enable eligible residents exercise their franchise without threat to lives and property’, he said.
The Police Commissioner advised leaders of political parties and candidates to impress it on their supporters to shun all forms of violence and thuggery before, during and after the implementation of all electoral process.
Representatives of most of the registered political parties, members of civil society organisations and the media, attended the stakeholders meeting. (NAN)