Ensure Eligible Voters Are Not Disenfranchised – NGE

The Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to ensure all eligible voters are not disenfranchised during next month’s general election.

The body also asked INEC to do everything possible to redeem the shoddy process of the distribution of thePermanent Voters Cards, PVC across the country.

In a communique signed by Femi Adesina, NGE’s President, the body said the fair play and reputation of the country and that of INEC is at stake and, must be held above board during the exercise.

“The reputation of the country, as well as that of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is at stake. With the shoddy arrangements in the issuance of Permanent Voters Cards, there is urgent need for INEC to redeem the process by ensuring that eligible voters are not disenfranchised,” Adesina stated.

Similarly, the NGE asked politicians, security agents and the general public to guide their tongue and action against provocative utterances and stick to the rules of the game.

“Political class, security agents and the populace,” NGE said must “be cautious in their utterances, abide by the rules of campaigning and exhibit tolerance before and during the elections to avoid over-heating the polity,” it cautioned, while adding, “Security agencies, particularly, should be non-partisan.”

On the perennial state of insecurity in the northern part of the country, especially in the North East, it stated that the crises call for harmonisation of efforts, change of tactics, and a review of the country’s security architecture, to win the war.

The body described the sudden sharp fall in global oil prices as a wake up call on the Nigerian government to urgently “go beyond rhetorics by developing economic policies and measures to diversify the economy.”

The NGE said all arms of government must take drastic actions to reduce the huge cost of governance, especially in the face of recently announced austerity measures.

The NGE also expressed worry over the high rate of failure recorded in the recently released November/December results of the West African Examinations Council, WAEC.

It ascribed the mass failure to symptomatic decay in the nation’s education sector. And called for increased allocation to the sector, and training and retraining of teachers.

Speaking on behalf of the union, Adesina said the NGE appreciates the unifying role of Sports globally. But laments that as the Nations Cup is being kick started in “January 2015, our national team, Super Eagles and defending champions will be conspicuously absent at the AFCON tournament.

“The football authorities are therefore urged to resolve all issues bedeviling the nation’s sports sector with promptitude,” it called.

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