By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Kogi have called on political parties to strategically design issue-based campaigns for the 2023 General Elections to reduce influence of money politics and corruption in the conduct.

The call was contained in a Communique issued at the end of a One-day CSO Partners Review And Strategy Meeting on prioritizing anti-corruption and accountability issues towards 2023 elections.

The meeting was organised by Conscience For Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR) in partnership with Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) in Lokoja.

The Communique signed by Idris Miliki Abdul, Executive Director, CHRCR, held that corruption went beyond demanding and taking monetary gratifications.

It said that corruption involved all actions and inactions that go against established laws and ethics which promote personal gratification against that of the general population.

According to the communique, political corruption has had severe implications on the quality of governance in the country by throwing up persons with questionable characters for elections.

“There must be strategically designed, issue-based campaigns in elections to reduce the influence of money politics that lead to corruption”, it said.

The communique also, called for partnership and collaboration among stakeholders implementing Anti-Corruption and Accountability activities to promote sustainability and scope of success towards the 2023 Elections.

It held that outcomes of elections at state and national levels overtime had not been satisfactory and acceptable to the larger majority of citizens due to perceived and sometimes real issues of corruption in their conduct.

It therefore called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to up its enlightenment and stakeholders mobilization activities at state level to encourage citizens’ confidence and participation.

It said that there was need for the commission to increase Voters Education targeting groups that are not traditionally targeted, to ensure adequate awareness creation on the electoral process.

The CSOs also urged INEC to make concerted efforts to incorporate and include Persons with Disabilities taking cognizance of their peculiarities during elections.

They called on eligible citizens to participate in the electoral process by obtaining their permanent voters Cards especially now that the process by INEC is on-going before the 2023 elections.

The One-Day meeting was organized to review the implementation of the project in the state and strategize on the next steps in the campaign on prioritizing Anti-Corruption and Accountability issues towards the 2023 General Elections at State level in Kogi State.

The meeting was attended by CSO leaders in the state, Media Practitioners/Journalists, Women groups, Faith Based Organizations, Persons with Disability, Youth based organisation and professional groups.

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