INTER Party Advisory Council, IPAC, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and security operatives to ensure a level playing field for all political parties that will participate in the rescheduled Edo State governorship election. Chairman of IPAC, Muhammad Lawal Nalado, gave this advice in an Eid-el-Kabir message to Muslims, where he also enjoined Nigerians, irrespective of their political, ethnic or religious affiliations, to pray for the success of the present administration. He said IPAC received with surprise the announcement that INEC has shifted the election, pointing out that it was done without proper consultation with major political stakeholders including IPAC. However, Nalado, who is also the Chairman of Labour Party, pleaded with all the political parties involved and other concerned citizens to take the decision in good faith and co- operate with the commission and security agencies for a peaceful election and transition in Edo State. “INEC should in future make sure that they consult widely and strategically schedule elections to avoid clash with other activities and a repeat of this unfortunate situation”, the IPAC boss said, even as he challenged security operatives to ensure peace in Edo throughout the election period. On the economic challenges facing the country, the IPAC chairman said though the policies of the present administration may be painful at the moment; it will restructure the country to the path of greatness. To this end, he solicited for attitudinal change among Nigerians, adding that encouragement rather than criticism is what the government needs, as it strives to chart a new economic pathway for Nigeria.  Nalado, who enjoined the Muslim ummah to continue to imbibe the virtues of love and generosity as preached by Islam, advocated for tolerance and harmonious cohabitation among Nigerians irrespective of religion. He emphasized the need for the rich to always assist the poor, which he said remains the only way of attaining general progress in the society. Meanwhile, IPAC has urged the Niger Delta Avengers, a militant group in the Niger Delta region, to sheath their sword and work together with the federal government, stressing that attacks on oil facilities in the region has negatively affected the revenue base of the country and further degraded the environment of host communities.  “Destruction of oil facilities will only create more environmental hazards and hardship on the people of the region, especially as they are predominantly farmers and fishing communities,” he said. However, he urged President Muhammadu Buhari to take urgent steps to ensure peace in the region by providing infrastructure and other developmental needs that the people are yearning for.

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