Hamzat Lawal, Chief Executive of Connected Development (CODE), on Friday, addressed stakeholders ahead of the imminent governorship elections in Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa.
Addressing representatives of civil society organizations, media, and security agencies, Lawal emphasized the pivotal role these stakeholders play in ensuring the success of the electoral process.
Connected Development (CODE), renowned for its commitment to empowering marginalized communities through information, technology, and social media, has actively monitored elections globally.
Using their election intelligence tool – UZABE, they have trained and deployed over 20,000 volunteer observers, verifying 12,889 incident reports during the recent 2023 Nigerian elections.
Lawal expressed optimism about the forthcoming elections, citing positive expectations in Kogi State and the increased presence of security personnel.
He highlighted the citizens’ enthusiasm to vote, signalling a departure from past voter apathy. Lawal urged citizens to exercise their right to vote responsibly and called for a rejection of violence, emphasizing the need for a peaceful electoral process.
He said: ”While we remain vigilant in monitoring developments in Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo states, we maintain optimism about the forthcoming elections. It is evident that Nigerians, now more than ever, yearn for accountable leadership and active participation in electing their representatives.
”This surge in civic engagement signifies a collective desire for leaders who are accountable, and as citizens, we aspire to be more actively involved in shaping the future of our communities, states, and country.
”I would also like to acknowledge the crucial roles played by the media and civil society organizations in our democratic process. Your commitment to transparency, accountability, and the dissemination of information is fundamental to the success of any election.
”However, I want to take this opportunity to admonish us all. In the pursuit of our respective mandates, let us be guided by the principles of fairness, accuracy, and responsibility.
”The power we wield in shaping public opinion comes with a great responsibility, and we must wield it judiciously.
”I urge all citizens to exercise their right to vote – it is your responsibility to choose leaders who will steer the course for the next four years. To our dedicated security personnel, I commend your efforts and let us continue working together to ensure the safety of lives and property.”
He commended the dedication of security personnel and called for continued collaboration to ensure the safety of lives and property during the elections.
In conclusion, Lawal urged unity for a peaceful election, emphasizing faith in the electoral process and a collective commitment to democracy.