Written By Praise Anabelle
Posted By Admin
Published By Fitness Network Communications
The Executive Chairman of Onigbongbo Local Council Development Area, Oladotun Olakanre, has said, the nation cannot continue to be complaining about a system that we are all part of.
Honorable Olakanre said this on Tuesday May 24, 2019, at an event which took place at the Ongbongbo LCDA, in Ikeja, Lagos State.
This directorate that was all about bringing professionals together, is also challenging eligible voters to go and register so as not to be disenfranchised and also ensuring participation of Professionals.
While charging Nigerians on the need to go get their permanent voters card and be prepared for the 2023 elections the Honorable said; “If we are not ready to spare time to take part which is one of the instrument that we can use to effect or be actively involved, then we should not complain about those who rule us. Professional have a way of ostracizing themselves from political parties.
But in other to ensure participation at the level of professionals; Accountants, Doctors or Lawyers should not see politics as a dirty game that they can experienced , but game that they have to be part of so that they can influence the process. Don’t be outside, you can’t influence anything from outside.”
In her remarks, the National Association of Local government Chairmen of Nigeria and Executive Vice Chairman, Ikorodu LGA, Aarebirin Hon. Princess Folashade Olabanji- Oba said; “as a seasoned technocrat and the Director General, Contacts and Mobilisation, let me start by expressing my gratitude to the DG and all the executives of the APC Professionals Council for this valuable and important public sensitization.
I also want to commend the Council for this initiative and to acknowledge the various actions undertaken along the years by the APC Professional Council to promote peace and stability before, during and after the upcoming 2023 elections. Let me also thank all participants involved in the organization of this important milestone, because I am indeed pleased and honored to be part of this occasion today.”
“2023 is another election period and I have been asked to present an overview of ways and initiatives aimed at promoting peaceful polls in Nigeria. Previous experiences of elections in Nigeria have shown various degrees of violence which continue to put stains and black spots on our electoral process in the country.
“There are no doubys that elections are an important mechanism in democratic and peace processes. Its purpose is to provide citizens with an opportunity to choose freely their political leaders and allocate power peacefully.
However, underlying tensions in any society such as Nigeria and high-stake competition can also result in violent and fraudulent elections. Elections are the essence of democracy. They allow people to select their political leaders and then to hold them accountable. But for elections to fulfill their critical function especially in Nigeria it must be free and fair. Just holding an election is not enough: if some citizens are prevented from voting or the results are not counted properly, an election can’t be called “free and fair.”
“A peaceful poll is one in which all the citizens of voting age are able to vote for the candidate of their own choice unhindered and not been influenced in any way, a fair election is one in which all votes have equal power and are accurately counted.
There are standards that governments need to meet before, during and after an election to ensure that an election is free and fair.
The following standards clearly define an ideal free and fair poll. Firstly, Registering to vote: There is no doubt that in Nigeria citizens who are already 18 years of age and resides in the country are expected to register to vote. However, for an election to be free and fair, government cannot prevent eligible voters from registering or make it difficult for some groups of people in any part of the country to register.
“Voters have access to reliable information on electoral processes: Governments or any of it’s agencies should not prevent the media from covering certain candidates or political parties, and they also cannot intentionally spread misinformation.
“Citizens should be free to run for office: Governments should not attack or intimidate people who decide to run for office or create discriminatory rules about who is allowed to run.
“All voters should have access to a polling booth that is very close to their home.
People need to be able to freely cast their ballots.
Voters should be able to reach polling stations, enter them, and cast their votes regardless of whom they are or where they live.
“People should be able to vote freely without any form of intimidation: Our polling centers should be safe. Violence, or the threat of violence, can make people feel afraid to vote for their candidate of choice or even prevent people from voting at all.
Secret ballots can also help prevent coercion or intimidation since they help prevent people from targeting voters based on whom they voted for.
“Voting is free from electoral fraud Every eligible voter should be able to vote only one time, and ineligible voters should be prevented from voting.
“Ballots should be counted accurately and the correct results should be announced
Ballots cannot be altered or discarded after they are cast, and all ballots cast by voters must be counted.
Therefore, my greatest hope is that we have a peaceful poll in 2023. I appeal to everyone to please maintain peace during and after the elections.”
“Lastly, the need to have a Peaceful Poll in Nigeria ahead of the 2023 general election should not be left to INEC alone, the masses and stakeholders must engage INEC on their plans for the peaceful poll as nothing should be left unchecked.
“Having a peaceful election is not a rocket science; all variables that have to do with the election must be checked and put into consideration.
“INEC must improve on the achievements recorded so far. Nigeria and Nigerians have hope on their ability to present an election that would showcase the yearnings of the electorates.
“It’s also important for the electorates to vote and wait for their votes to be counted and announced as stated by the INEC. So, I want the name on my branded Tshirt to be quoted ‘Peacefully Engage and Participate’. Thank you all for your time.”