Obiano urges against voter apathy
RENOWNED diplomat and Representative of United Nations (UN) Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohammed Ibn Chambers, has disclosed that Anambra State is highly ranked in the global agency due to her strides in development.
The envoy made the disclosure during an interactive session organised by the UN ahead of Nigeria’s 2019 general election in the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, Awka South Local Council, Anambra State.
The event tagged Pre-Election Consultative Meeting with Key Stakeholders drew participants from all the South East states. The UN diplomat commended Anambra State for excelling in the implementation of the UN’s development goals and good governance.
Citing the recent certificate awarded to Anambra State Government as best in social security in West Africa, Mr. Ibn Chambers said the state “deserves more than the award of certificates” from UN given her strides in development. The former ECOWAS Secretary-General said UN chose Anambra as the point of rally for South East because of favourable social conditions and clement political situation.
Speaking during the event, Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, explained that Anambra was selected ahead of other states because of the global acclaim for standard best practices that marked the successful gubernatorial governorship election last year.
He commended the UN and urged ndi Anambra and the people of South East states to pay more attention to political developments in the country and turn out en masse during elections.
Frowning at the low rate of voter participation in the zone during general elections, the governor urged the people to ensure they collect their voter cards and go out to vote during the forthcoming general elections.
According to the governor, only a massive response to this call will change the narrative of voter-apathy. He emphasised that citizens’ active participation in the electoral process is a crucial social responsibility and a vital tool for people who wish to hold their leaders accountable.
He reiterated the importance of adequate preparations by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make the elections successful and credible, stressing that a free and fair poll with transparent process guarantees the emergence of good leaders and sustainable growth in the society.
Dr. Ibn Chambers also urged active participation of voters and called on stakeholders as well as institutions relevant in the electoral process to play their own parts.
The Senator Representing Anambra Central at National Assembly, Chief Victor Umeh, noted the need for stakeholders to resist electoral brigandage as that remains the only means of enthroning good leadership in a democratic setting, of lamenting that credible elections has eluded Nigeria over time, because people have in the past aspired to go into positions of leadership without following the process and utter disrespect of the laws as projected by the electoral umpire.
Assuring that INEC is determined to raise the bar during the 2019 elections, a representative of Anambra State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Ibeh Ibeh disclosed that over 1000 PVCs are uncollected yet.
The session was used by different stakeholders in the South East Geopolitical zone to share their various views on how to make the upcoming general election in the country to be free and credible,
with recent electoral dynamics such as vote trading, non-issue based campaigns, equality of opportunities, apathy, recruitment of ad-hoc staff, internal democracy, high cost of elections in the Country, among others featured on the roundtables, with presentation of a Media Partnership Agreement forming high point of the event.
Among strategic stakeholder that attended the summit were South East Governor’s Forum, National Youth Council, the clergy, traditional rulers and many more.