DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 26: The Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) today stated that the right to vote has become the most abused and misused power in Nagaland.
“…the right to vote is a gift but some people are denied the use of this gift, while some people disregard it because they feel frustrated and some people misuse or over use it and still some use it as a bargaining chip for selfish benefits”, said Rev. Dr. Zelhou Keyho, General Secretary, NBCC, at a State level seminar on clean election, organized by the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Nagaland, with participants from various Church associations of Nagaland on September 26 at De Oriental Grand, Kohima. The purpose of the seminar was to help augment the ongoing Clean Election Movement of the NBCC and to provide a platform where there is an exchange of information and ideas to take the movement forward.
Expressing concern that the devastating tentacles of State elections have spread to all aspects of the Naga life: individuals, family village, church, tribe, traditional and Government institutions, Rev. Dr. Zelhou Keyho described this as the biggest force eroding the moral foundation, as well as the future of our generations.
Stating that clean election movement is everyone’s business, he said the church will continue to assert that clean election movement is a spiritual issue for Christians and that it is the responsibility of believers to work in building a democratic and ethically acceptable process of election in Nagaland.
Guest of honour, T Mhabemo Yanthan, Commissioner, Nagaland, stated that during elections we see the collapse of our Christian faith, collapse of our moral and ethical integrity.
“Institutions that are expected to stand during the most critical times have failed time and again. Integrity and accountability of such institutions are crucial paramount for sustenance of a just and acceptable society. The sanctity of such critical institutions needs to be protected”, he said.
Mhabemo stated that only two distinctive options are left: either to exist with a sense of helplessness and continue to accept the brutally collapsed system or choose to stand up and become aggressively assertive to build a widely acceptable system.
In his introductory address, Ruokuovituo Khezhie, CEO (Officiating), Nagaland, stressed on the importance of having a clean and clear electoral roll which is the only document to prove the authenticity of a voter. He expressed that SVEEP is one of the flagship programmes of the ECI to create awareness on registration of name in the electoral roll and ensuring ethical, informed and inclusive election. He hoped that with this seminar there would be a positive outcome in regard to clean election in the spirit of ‘one man one vote’ where every eligible voter can vote without any inducement, fear or intimidation.
The seminar included technical sessions with resource persons of both the CEO’s office and the Church establishment. The resource persons were Awa Lorin, Joint CEO (Topic- Legal Provisions on Electoral Roll and Conduct of Elections), Toshimeren Aier, Assistant CEO (Topic – Reflections on State Assembly Election, 2023), Dr. Villo Naleo, Convenor, Clean Election Movement, NBCC (Topic- Clean Election as a platform for ushering desirable change) and Dr. Pangernungba Kichu, Professor of Society, Christian Ethics and Contextual Theology, Oriental Theological Seminary, Chumoukedima (Topic- Clean Election Movement Challenges and tasks ahead).
(Page News Service)