Sat. May 18th, 2024

By Ene Oshaba

The African Youth Growth Foundation (AYGF), a Non-Governmental Organization(NGO), that prioritizes democratic governance and youth growth, has charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies as well as politicians to ensure that the forthcoming general election is seamless, credible and violence-free.

Executive Director of the foundation, Dr. Arome Salifu made the call on Tuesday, during a press conference it organized in Abuja.

Salifu stated that credible elections are fundamental essential of a strong democratic governance as respect for human rights are critical for sustainable development and lasting peace.

He said,” the upcoming general elections is an opportunity for citizens to choose a leader with solid determination to steer the direction of the country positively. There is no doubt that the outcome of this election will have a significant impact on the future of the country’s economy and people.

“It is imperative to call on the security agencies saddled with the responsibility of securing the country to intensify efforts and do more to make the entire electoral process safe for voters, candidates and all, especially the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) who are providing support for the process.

“A peaceful, credible election process is not entirely the task of security agencies alone. INEC, political actors and othe stakeholders have a part to play, INEC must be seen as an umpire indeed and must ensure neutrality, credibility and acceptability of the electoral process and it’s outcome.

“The politicians ultimate desire to win must do so within the ambiance of the law. The promotion of the political violence and the spread of disinformation and misinformation, including vote buying, hate speeches, and unguarded statements are capable of undermining the democratic process, public peace and harmony.

The Executive Director further charged young persons to exercise their franchise as they make up a larger number of electorate for the growth of the nation, while commending the INEC on the better access to polling units and added improved technology.

“In this election, youth constitute an estimated 48 million of the total 93.4million registered voters. This is a huge voting community whose action through out the polls will help determine the credibility and peaceful polls.

“We commend INEC in it’s quest to deepen democratic governance through transparent election in Nigeria as reflected in the extensive reforms including the the deployment of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and Result Viewing Portal (IReV) these signal an improvement in the voting and results transmission and collation.

“We acknowledge efforts by INEC to improve access to polling units by increasing the number of polling stations to 176,846,” he said.

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