By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja
TOWARDS the November 11, Kogi State Governorship Election, participating Political Parties and their candidates have been urged to base their campaigns on issues that concern the welfare of citizens and the state rather than primordial sentiments.
The call was made in a communique issued in Lokoja at the end of a one-day Multi-stakeholders Engagement For Kogi East Senatorial District Toward The November 11th, 2023 Governorship Election.
The programme, organized by the Conscience For Human Rights And Conflict Resolution (CHRCR) in partnership with Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) was on, “Integrity and Community Ownership in the Fight Against Corruption at State Level in Kogi State.”
The Communique held that demands for issue-based campaigns had always been ignored by political parties and their candidates but this time around, they must ensure that citizens’ issues are given priority attention in their campaigns.
The Communique also called on participating Political Parties Parties in the election to join the legal campaign to reverse the State Government’s restrictions on posting of campaign materials such as bill boards and posters.
It held that there was need to constantly improve the capacity and awareness of citizens on their roles and responsibilities in the Accountability and Anti-Corruption campaigns in elections.
Participants urged citizen groups to be courageous and bold in demanding for accountability and transparency on elections at State level as it is their constitutional right and responsibility.
They also reiterated the need for women groups to engage the political parties and their candidates, on issues around women participation in the political process and leadership.
The participants regretted that the only female Governorship Candidate in the November Gubernatorial election had withdrawn in spite of support and encouragement from various stakeholders in the demand for women participation and representation.
The Communique decried the little information and awareness on Collection of Permanent Voters Cards and called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to, as a matter of urgency, engage citizens on where, when and how to collect their PVCs.
The Communique expressed serious concerns about safety of Women and Persons with Disabilities and called on stakeholders to make adequate preparations for them to exercise their franchise unhindered, in the November 11th Guber polls.
The Programme which had in attendance CSOs, the Media, Persons with Disabilities, Women and Youth Leaders from the nine Local Government Areas of Kogi East Senatorial District.
According to the Communique, the programme was aimed at strengthening community efforts at positive transformation to enable citizens imbibe the core values of integrity in the fight against corruption.
It also aimed to encourage citizens in putting the country above all, as part of strategies to diminish and undermine corruption in the fight and struggle for survival and power.
The participants commended CHRCR for its doggedness in the fight against Corruption and applauded CISLAC and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for their continued support.