Rectify Challenges of Supplementary Poll, Kano Elders Call on INEC

By Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
Following the tension the declaration of the recent governorship election inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kano State has generated, some elders in the state have called on the electoral body to ensure that it does everything in its power to rectify as well as attend to all the perceived challenges.
The elders, under the Kano Concerned Citizens Initiative (KCCI) led by Bashir Tofa, a one time presidential aspirant, stated this while addressing journalists in Kano on Monday to express worry over the perceived tension in the state.

“We strongly believe that all electoral staff must be told, in no uncertain terms, to live above board, and that anyone found to be wanting must receive the maximum sanctions provided for by the Electoral Act and the Constitution,” he said.

Tofa said that the onus is on INEC to deliver a fool proof election by being truly non-partisan.

“Any act of commission or omission would be squarely placed on its (INEC) shoulders. Officials must be aware that such acts may be the difference between peace and violence in our state,” he explained.

Declaring that no act of violence would be tolerated in the state, the group, while praising the efforts of the security agencies, also called on them to replicate and even do more during the rerun exercise as “it is arduous and daunting”.

He further called on the police not to be apolitical but to also put measures in place that will prevent people from neighbouring states, who are non residents of Kano from coming in to partake in the March 23rd rerun elections to forestall unnecessary tension or violence.

“Kano and Kanawa shall never allow our state to burn on the account of anybody’s vaulting ambition to lead or govern us,” Tofa declared.

The youth were also called upon to eschew and stay away from violence, while also informing parents and community leaders to play their roles to ensure peace in the state.

He finally called on the media to play a pivotal role during and beyond the rerun election in their position as the fourth estate of the realm.

“Privatisation and commercialisation should never be an excuse of allowing fake news, hate speech and political free-for-all on the airwaves. It is the responsibility of the media and journalists to do all in their power to blunt political foul language; uncouth and unguarded utterances in the name of campaigns or promotion of candidates or a political direction,” he appealed.

He warned that media practitioners in the state who deviate and are found to be spreading rumours or hate speech capable of inciting violence will be held responsible and be dealt with appropriately.

“What Kano needs now is the kind of correctness as would enhance healthy discourse in order to foster positive coexistence and socioeconomic growth,” he said.