By Aminu Garko
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Niger, Prof. Sam Egwu, on Monday, urged political parties to cooperate with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure smooth implementation of electoral process in the state.Egwu, while addressing stakeholders at the commission headquarters in Minna, said it was only through their cooperation that the commission would be able to conduct a hitch-free poll in 2023.
He cleared the air on who is responsible to transport voters from Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) camps from bandit-prone areas to safer places, saying, “it is not the responsibility of the commission”.He said there are IDP camps in 14 out of the 25 local government areas of the state.He blamed voter apathy during elections on non-performance of political office holders and appointees, alleging that they often disengaged themselves from voters.“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 declared.
In his remarks, the Commissioner of Police in Niger, 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 said 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)