Traditional rulers in Kogi on Monday pledged to partner with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to curb vote buying and violence during the forthcoming general elections.
The President of the State Traditional Council and Attah of Igala, Idakwo Ameh Oboni, made the pledge at an interactive session organised in Lokoja by INEC.
Oboni said that the general elections should not be left to INEC alone, noting that the responsibilities given to the commission were too many.
He explained that the rising cases of vote hawking and buying was an indictment of government and called for a concerted effort to reduce hunger and poverty in the land.
The monarch also called on politicians not to see elections as “do-or-die affair,’’ urging them to emulate former President Goodluck Jonathan who conceded defeat even when vote counting was still on.
Also speaking, the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Dr Ado Ibrahim, said politicians through their activities had been making it impossible for traditional rulers to play their roles in the society.
He admonished those in government to regularly consult with traditional rulers to curb insecurity and other violent crimes.
Both Ohimege of Koton Karfe, Alhaji Abdulrasak Isa-Koto and the Obaro of Kabba, Oba Solomon Owoniyi, stressed the need for adequate security before, during and after the elections.
They said that there was nothing much traditional rulers could do in the absence of security and called on politicians to play according to the rules.
Earlier the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. James Apam, said that the traditional rulers were invited to the forum to enable INEC to secure their support in tackling violence.
Apam disclosed that the INEC would commence distribution of the 261,917 uncollected Permanent Voter Cards in the 2,548 polling units in the state from Jan. 16 to Jan. 21.
He appealed to the monarchs to prevail on their subjects to come out and collect their PVCs.