The Executive Director Peering Advocacy and Advancement Center in Africa (PAACA), Ezenwa Nwagwu has urged citizens to take over the political agenda for the upcoming Edo and Ondo governorship elections. He said citizens and civic groups should not allow politicians to decide the agenda for the elections saying democracy has given the citizens power to make informed electoral decisions and demand good governance.
According to him, the current fear-mongering in Edo state ahead of the Governorship elections is deliberate to prevent citizens from coming out to vote. Nwagwu, a Yiaga Africa board said this during Watching The Vote (WTV) Hour, a radio program dedicated to citizens engagement for the upcoming Governorship elections in Edo and Ondo state.
“The current political environment in Edo state underscores the need for citizens’ group to inspire confidence in the Citizens by ensuring all stakeholders play their roles to prevent violation of electoral laws”, he said. He called on citizens and important stakeholders like traditional and religious leaders to move attention away from the current distractions from politicians to important issues that will benefit the citizens ahead of the election.
He said citizens of Edo must not allow politicians to set the agenda for this election saying Citizens must shout-down the narrative and perception of violence in Edo. He said, stakeholder especially security must be reenergized to play their role to ensure peaceful polls.
He also reminded that elections are determined by people who vote but the consequences of government are suffered or enjoyed by every citizen thus it becomes more important to come out and vote right.
He said the security agencies should work together to enforce order and act as a deterrent to any form of violence or corruption during elections saying people who engage in anything that threatens the free and fair nature of the election should be detained.