By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari has advised political parties, candidates and security agents to behave responsibly in the forthcoming governorship election in Edo.
The president, in a message to voters, political parties, election officials and security personnel, also warned against what he described as “the do-or-die mentality to politics.”
The president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, quoted Buhari to have said:
“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.
”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.
“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 appealed to all political parties and their candidates to respect law and order.
He 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.”
” 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,” the statement quoted the president as saying.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission has fixed Saturday for the Edo governorship election.
NAN also reports that the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and that of the Peoples Democratic Party, Godwin Obaseki, who are the main contenders, had since signed a peace accord. (NAN)