2023 Elections: Civil Society Forum of Executive Directors makes case for hitch free exercise

Samuel Luka, Bauchi

Ahead of the upcoming February and March general elections in Nigeria, a group known as Bauchi State Civil Society Forum of Executive Directors has organized a town hall meeting aimed at charting a way forward to free and fair exercise.

Speaking to newsmen shortly after the meeting, the State Chairman, Civil Society Forum of Executive Directors, Bauchi state, Sodangi Adam Chindo said that the meeting was a stakeholders’ engagement on violence free and fair election in Bauchi state.

He said that the aim of the meeting was enable the stakeholders interact and reach a common ground by finding a way of averting violence before, during and after the elections.

According to him, the stakeholders that graced the meeting were community leaders, youth leaders, women leaders, security agencies.

According to Sodangi, the meeting provided an avenue where the Forum interacted with community leaders to get the idea of what is happening so that the security would also give information to the community in order to collectively avert the looming violence.

While expressing satisfaction on the responses from the stakeholders, Sodangi, described the interaction during the meeting as very qualitative one, adding that it was opened, from the side of the community to the security agencies.

“So I think we have gotten a lot of information that would aid both the community and the security agencies in carrying out their duties”, he said.

According to him, it is expected that all the stakeholders would step down the information gotten during the meeting to their respective domains in order to have free and fair elections, devoid of violence.

Also Speaking, a community leader who attended the meeting promised to enlighten his people, particularly the youth on the need to have free and fair elections.

“We will talk to our youth to conduct themselves peacefully and we will appeal to our religious leaders to pray for the smooth conduct of the upcoming February and March elections. By the grace of Allah, we are going to witness a hitch-free elections”, the community leader said.

While calling on the politicians to exhibit patience and sportsmanship in their politicking, the community leader advised them to accept the outcome of election results in good faith whether it favors them or not.

“They should accept that it is Allah who gives power to whom he so wish, whatever is not destined by God, you cannot get it. So, let them learn to be patient and accept any outcome of election results the way they occur”, he said.

On his part, Engineer Nathaniel Negedu, the Deputy Commander National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Bauchi State Command, said in preparation to the upcoming elections, the Agency has started its cleansing exercise in all the black spots across the state.

“The Agency has started cleaning exercise in all the black spots across the state in order to rid off all these criminals at the joints that the drugs are peddled, with the view to bringing sanity for the upcoming elections”, he assured.

Engineer Nathaniel said that the cleansing has yielded results such that some of the drug peddlers have been arrested and are in the custody of the Agency while others are already in court for involvement in drug cases.

The deputy Commander of the agency said that the command in Bauchi is poised to ensuring that it sanitizes the society before the election in order to create room for hitch free exercise.

Engineer Nathaniel who pointed out that, drugs is the oxygen of such crimes, said, by getting drug peddlers and abusers off business, Bauchi will witness a crime free election.

He said, to further achieve the target, the Agency has embarked on sensitization and enforcement exercise, adding that the users are counseled on the negative effect of consuming illicit substances if caught.

“To the dealers, the traffickers, of course we arrest them, prepare the case file and send them to court for prosecution”, Engineer Nathaniel explained.

The Deputy Commander who advised the youth to stay off drugs, informed them that the use of drugs will not give them any good future, emphasizing that a drug dependant person has no future.

He urged the parents to buckle up by controlling the kind of peer group their pupils associates with and how they move in order to curb any unforseen tendency.

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