BY EDMOND ODOK, ABUJA – President Muhammadu Buhari has demanded exemplary conduct of non-partisanship and fairness from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies in Saturday’s governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States.
According to the President, it is important that all stakeholders in the conduct of these elections carry out their functions with fairness and transparency.
He also insisted that all those concerned must deliver on their statutory mandate without let or hindrance and without fear or favour to make the exercise hitch-free and successful.
Specifically, the President said; “Law enforcement officials must ensure that citizens are allowed to vote without harassment and intimidation and any attempt to steal or hijack ballots must be stopped using all legal means.”
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu in Abuja on Thursday, President Buhari said on November 16, voters in both states would be left alone to decide who handles the administration of their important states for the next four years.
He noted that having attended political rallies of various hues and bombarded with political advertisements since the ban on campaigns was lifted a few weeks ago, people in the two states must have made up their minds on the choice of those to govern them
The President however expressed sadness that the campaigns have recorded not a few uninspiring incidents of violence and of intemperate use of language, stressing the need for all stakeholders in the conduct of the elections to be circumspect in ensuring justice and hitch-free exercise.
“I call on voters in Bayelsa and Kogi to exercise their franchise in a peaceful and orderly manner and in line with the law in all situations.
“In all democratic elections, there are bound to be winners and losers and the elections in Bayelsa and Kogi will not be different.
“All candidates should be ready to accept the outcomes and wherever they are dissatisfied, they should follow the due process of the law in seeking redress. There must not be a resort to self-help.”
President Buhari therefore wished both states and their citizens a safe and credible exercise as they vote in what he described as “historic and suspenseful elections.”