President Muhammadu Buhari has advised political parties, candidates and security agents to behave responsibly in the forthcoming Edo State gubernatorial elections.
The election holds on Saturday, Sept. 19, with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s) candidate and incumbent governor of the state Mr. Godwin Obaseki and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress Party (APC), Mr. Osagie Ize-Iyamu as the major contenders.
However, there are 14 political parties on the ballot for the day’s election.
The President in a message to voters, political parties, election officials and security personnel, reiterated his commitment to free and fair elections.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari 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 behave peacefully and 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.”
President Buhari, according to the statement, stressed that “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.”