AS the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states draw near, the Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN) has called on the electorate to be alive to their responsibility and shun vote selling.
This call was contained in a communique in Ibadan signed by the chairman of the Oyo State chapter of the MMPN, Alhaji Ridwan Fasasi, after a monthly meeting of the association hosted by the state’s Ministry of Information.
The association noted that the idea of exchanging votes for money which characterised previous elections had brought untold hardship to the masses.
The MMPN also reiterated the call by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the electorate to collect their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) at the various offices and designated centres across the country with particular reference to Oyo State with about 750,000 unclaimed PVCs.
The association looked into the plight of pensioners in the country, observing that many state governments had failed to pay pensions and gratuities of retirees, thereby subjecting them to hardship.
It, therefore called on the affected states to pay the backlogs in the interest of the wellbeing of the senior citizens who, it said, used their productive years to serve.
The association expressed concern about the rate of hard drugs consumption in the country, especially among youths, saying this was not a good omen for the future of the country.
The MMPN condemned a reported police attack on the Oyo State correspondent of The Nation, Mr Yinka Adeniran and the alleged shooting of the correspondent of the same newspaper in Osun State, Mr Toba Adedeji, emphasising the need for the police authorities to address the inhuman treatment commonly meted out to journalists by their officers and men.
It equally condemned the attack by unknown gunmen on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, urging the police to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book.