MARCH 18: Ensure Free, Fair, Credible, Transparent Election, Abia NUJ Urges INEC, Political Parties *Do not take Laws into your hands, political parties told
By Charity Uwakwe
The Abia State Chapter of Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ) has charged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to ensure a conduct of election in the forthcoming governorship and House of Assembly elections, slated for Saturday, March 18, 2023.
Speaking during the Council’s Monthly Congress of NUJ, held on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, the Union advised the election umpire to work assiduously in order to avert a repeat of the show of shame as was witnessed in the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections, on February 25.
In a Communique jointly by the Chairman and Secretary of the Council, Comrd. Victor Ndukwe and Comrade Adaeze Ralph Igbokwe, respectively, the Union encouraged
Abians and residents not to be deterred by the mishap of the previous election, but endeavour to come out en masse to cast their votes.
The Union further pleaded with all political parties to shun violence of all sorts but rather, ensure a peaceful atmosphere before, during and after the election, while also warning against resorting to self-help following the failure of INEC to transmit Polling Unit results.n
The Communique read in detail:
COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE MONTHLY CONGRESS OF NIGERIA UNION OF JOURNALISTS (NUJ) ABIA STATE COUNCIL, AT NUJ PRESS CENTRE 1 ABA ROAD, UMUAHIA, ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, 2023
The Monthly Congress of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Abia State Council held on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. Congress extensively deliberated on issues germane to the peace and security of the state; as well as welfare of Journalists and the following recommendations were made:
1. That the Council calls on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free, fair, credible and transparent election during the Saturday, March 18, 2023 Governorship and House of Assembly elections and ensure that the show of shame/ failure to transmit Polling Unit results during the Presidential and National Assembly elections do not repeat itself.
2. Congress encourages Abians and residents to come out en masse to cast their votes and should not boycott the March 18 Governorship and House of Assembly polls as a result of the less- than- satisfactory performance of INEC during the February 25, 2023 polls.
3. That all stakeholders in the electoral process must back off from any form of sinister plan bothering on rigging, thuggery or blood shed during the March 18 elections.
4. Congress advises political parties not to take advantage of the failure of INEC to transmit Polling Unit results by resorting to self – help or create an atmosphere that would precipitate violence and crisis that would put the lives of people on the line. All political parties in the state should remember the essence of the Peace Accord they signed prior to the elections and exercise restraint by allowing the will of the electorates to prevail.
5. Congress calls on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to issue an official, categorical statement on the rulling of the Supreme Court on the issue of the naira redesign policy as it concerns allowing the old naira notes of N500 and N1,000 to coexist with the newly redesigned notes as legal tender. Congress notes that such a statement will save Nigerians from the untold hardship occasioned by the cashless policy.
6. Congress urges Abia State Government to adhere strictly to the terms of agreement it reached lately with the organized Labour with regard to defraying the arrears of salaries and pensions owed civil servants and pensioners in order to improve their welfare.
7. Congress also calls on the state and federal government to pragmatically address the lingering scarcity and hike in price of petroleum products which inflicted further economic hardship on Nigerians as they are responsible for the galloping inflation in the country.
Meanwhile, other members of the Communique drafting committee were who drafted the Communique were Divine Nwankwo, Charity Uwakwe (Distinguished Chacha) and Chinenye Iwuoha.