The Director of Voter Education of the Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria, (IPAC), Akinloye Oyeniyi has called for a free, fair and credible elections in Kogi and Bayelsa at the gubernatorial polls scheduled for today, the 16th of November.
In a press statement released early morning on election day in Yenegoa, the capital of Bayelsa state, Oyeniyi pleaded with political leaders, the electorates and other stakeholders to ensure sanctity of lives, properties and the ballot.
While appraising the success of the voter education and sensitization programmes carried out by the advisory council on Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th of November in Kogi and Bayelsa respectively, the Voter Education Director reiterated that educating and sensitizing voters is one of the core mandates of IPAC under its current president, High Chief Peter Ameh.
“We, in IPAC during the programmes already engaged both leaders and electorates in the two states to excuse violence and actions inimical to the wishes and aspirations of their people during the governorship, Kogi West Senatorial District and Brass 1 State Assembly Constituency polls. I am practically still begging everybody to please make sure we record huge success today” .
Oyeniyi added that the leadership of IPAC places high priority on voter education to promote and consolidate on inclusive democracy in Nigeria.
“…elections are public opinions for leadership succession, withdrawal of obedience from non-performing and non-responsive political office holders. They are also to enhance effective continuation of a sovereign nation via people participation with effective equal voting rights of adult franchise.
“So, all hands must be on deck to guarantee security of lives and properties during the elections today. When we ensure electoral security, then we have conducive environment and increased public confidence in the electoral process. Because we would have removed threat to electoral democracy and improved the integrity of our electoral process”.
Oyeniyi stated government at all levels must take people participation in politics serious because elections are instruments for legitimising a government that enjoy support from its citizens vested with power and authority to choose leaders.
He added that electoral periods are vital avenues to educate the masses in a democratic environment.
“It is another democratic utility of election, where voters are educated on how they are the only ones permitted to put in place, keep and change governments; anything short of that is electoral authoritarianism which is a deliberate regular multi- parties’ elections but without adherence to the requirements of free, fair and credible election” .
The inter- party advisory Council is the umbrella body of registered political parties in Nigeria with the objective of ensuring sustainable development and democratic sustenance in the Nigerian polity at both national and state levels.