Nigeria: Buhari Urges Responsible Behaviour As Edo Governorship Poll Holds Saturday

18 September 2020

The people of Edo State will tomorrow, Saturday, September 19, 2020, go to the poll to elect a new governor that will run the affairs of the state in the next four years.

According to the Independent National Election Commission (INEC), out of 14 political parties that registered for the election, 12 are fielding candidates.

The election is expected to be keenly contested by the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Governor Godwin Obaseki, and the All Progressives Congress (APC)'s Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Adeleye Oyebade, said the police would deploy three police officers and personnel of other security agencies to each of the 2,627 polling units across the 192 wards in the 18 local government areas (LGAs) in the state to ensure effective manning and guarantee free, fair and peaceful election.

Out of 2,210,334 registered voters in the state, only 1,726,466 have picked up their Permanent Voter's Cards (PVCs) to enable them to cast votes.

A total of 483,868 are yet to collect their PVCs.

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, advised political parties, candidates and security agents, to behave responsibly in Saturday's Edo State gubernatorial elections.

Buhari, in a message to voters, political parties, election officials and security personnel, renewed his stance that, "I am passionately committed to free and fair elections, but my own commitment is not enough if other actors at ground zero refuse to abide by the rules."

According to the president, "I want to see democratic standards in the country raised higher at every level, but these cannot be achieved when politicians resort to do-or-die methods to gain power by any means or machination."

He said, "The do-or-die mentality to politics is a threat to free and fair elections because the actors are more focused on winning than caring about a fair outcome that reflects the will of the people."

The president, who appealed to all political parties and their candidates to behave peacefully and respect law and order, also advised election officials and security agents "To remain neutral to ensure free and fair elections and avoid any action(s) capable of compromising the integrity of the elections."

President Buhari, in a statement issued, Thursday, by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, said: "Conducting free and fair elections is one of my main concerns for our democracy, and I want this commitment to be one of the legacies I will leave behind when I depart office."

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