President Muhammadu Buhari has called on political parties, candidates, and security agents participating in the Edo governorship election to uphold democratic standards during the poll. A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, on Thursday quoted the President as saying that failure to abide by the rules would truncate efforts to achieve free and fair elections.
“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,” the President said. “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.”
According to the President, 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. Apart from the parties and their candidates, the President called on security agents and electoral officials to remain neutral. That way, he said, they would be able to “ensure free and fair elections and avoid any action(s) capable of compromising the integrity of the elections.”
The Edo governorship election is scheduled for Saturday, September 19 with 14 candidates in the race. After a heated campaign, the President expects all participants to follow the rules. He also restated the importance of free and fair elections to the country.