SING ELECTION ADVOCACY VISIT TO TOMBIA COMMUNITY
A cross section of members of the SING Nigeria Election Observation Team in Bayelsa state, today visited the Acting Paramount ruler of Tombia Community, Yenagoa Local Government Area. The team was received by the youth leader of the community, Comrade Canus and led to the Acting Paramount Ruler High Chief MJP Akamga.
The team briefed Paramount ruler on its mission to engage with a the people at the grassroots in the state, being the most important stakeholders in an election, to assess their situation and challenges which would in turn be transmitted to the political and governing class.
Speaking during the visit, the team lead, Mr. Olufemi Lawson said that “the visit is a significant one as the organization is working in the Niger Delta currently, with our ICT hub and training center currently in Bayelsa”. Mr. Lawson also enlightened the community on the role of observers being not just to monitor voting process, but also to provide opportunities for the citizens, who occupy the most powerful office in a democracy, to set the agenda for politicians seeking their mandate to lead.
During the visit, which was a follow-up to an earlier visit by the SING advance team, the group took time to assess the flooding situation in the community. From the assessment, it was discovered that Polling Units , 1, 3 and 4 remain submerged, as is much of the community. The Acting Paramount Ruler, High Chief Akamga, told the visiting team that “the community is in a floodplain and the solution is construction of canals to channel excess water and dredging of the rivers”.
Also speaking, a member of the team and Director of Research of SING, Dr Itari Turner, She requested that the chief assist in communicating to the community members that it is important to participate in the upcoming election this would give them a chance to have their voice heard. In attendance at the engagement were a number of executives of the youth association including its secretary, Comrade Winyemi Okonya.
SING uses this opportunity to condemn the non-existent emergency response, despite the serious flooding that the community has experienced and the fact that many residents have been displaced as a result.