*says Coast not clear for free, fair election
By Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
The Chairman, Board of Directors of Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID), an NGO, Dr Mohammed Usman on Thursday called called for increased sensitisation and awareness to communities to reduce incidences of violence, thuggery in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Usman who made the call in a press statement in Lokoja said that the violent disruption of the PDP primary by gunmen on Tuesday was a clear demonstration of the fact that the coast was not yet clear for a peaceful conduct of the exercise.
He said that efforts should be intensified not to disenfranchised the electorates, especially at the grassroots, hence the need for intensified sensitization and proper security arrangement to address possible resurgence of violence before, during and after the election.
The board chairman urged all stakeholders, the politicians the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Security Agencies Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the electorate to work together towards achieving a free, fair and peaceful election.
He said that PIBCID as Local Rights partners with ActionAid Nigeria, National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Enough is Enough (EIE), in synergy with other Civil Society Organisations, was committed to the conduct of a peaceful and credible gubernatorial election in Kogi state.
He said that the organisation in partnership with women and youth groups, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) government at local, state and national levels, has been working to address the underlying causes of poverty in resource marginalised and derelict communities.
“Our values at PIBCID which determine our interventions with the people and communities are integrity, transparency, accountability, equity, Justice, fairness and team spirit.
“These have greatly influenced our focus on Women’s rights, Good Governance, Education, Food and Agriculture, Human Security in Conflict emergencies and Health”, he said.
Usman added, “We can confidently say that our organisation has made significant strides in evolving new initiatives and sustenance of existing platforms and projects in our various interventions among the communities.
The Board chairman used the opportunity to announce the elevation of Mrs Halima O. Sadiq as the Acting Executive Director of the Organisation following the resignation of Mrs Gift Omoniwa Owonipa.
Usman said a letter on the transition in the organisation had been transmitted to the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development which has the statutory obligation of registering and coordinating NGOs operating in the state.
He revealed that efforts were in top gear to celebrate PIBCID’s 10th year anniversary in the state and enjoined its partners, government agencies, other NGOs and communities to take note of the transition, for enhanced partnership and cooperation.