Ahead of the September 19 governorship election in Edo State, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and security agencies to be apolitical.
The governor made this call while speaking on a television programme yesterday, urging the electoral umpire to use the Edo election to correct its previous mistakes and make other countries learn how to conduct free and fair elections from Nigeria.
According to him, the success of the Edo election would be largely determined by the role played by security agencies and INEC.
“This is so because they often interfere with electoral processes which manifests as scuttling the will of the electorate.
“I do not know if I have 100 percent confidence in INEC for now, but maybe, as the days go on, what we will see may give us hope.
“Nigeria prides itself to be the giant of Africa and we go to other countries to observe elections and adjudge them as free and fair. But, we find it difficult to do the same here. We must show one good thing people can learn from us,” he said.
He said all the people want to see is what was done under President Goodluck Jonathan when Adams Oshiomhole went to Aso Rock to thank him for allowing free and fair election in Edo State then.
“We are appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to direct that democracy be protected in the Edo election so that ‘one man one vote’ will count. We will also go to Aso Rock to thank him,” he stated.
Governor Wike, who is the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Campaign Council, stated that the Edo governorship election would be easy to win and that Governor Godwin Obaseki had a clear path to return as governor for a second term.
“Four years ago, Obaseki was the best support for Oshiomhole’s government and he said Osage Ize-Iyamu cannot be trusted with money and that he is a fake pastor.
“Even Ize-Iyamu did not challenge such allegations including the one about pouring acid on a fellow student.
“This is the time to stop politicians with questionable character who say one thing today and another the next day. Integrity, credibility and performance credentials favour Obaseki,” he added.
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