Edo women yesterday pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari for a free, fair and credible governorship election in Edo State, saying the election would be seen as a litmus test for the sincerity of his administration.
The women, under the aegis of the Forum of Uncommon Women of Edo, FUWE, after a meeting in Benin City, the state capital, to review unfolding political developments in the state, said that as a stand-alone election, the whole world was watching to see how it would go.
Director-general of FUWE, Princess Philomena Ihenyen who spoke to newsmen after the meeting, said, “The Edo election is a litmus test for the sincerity of the Buhari administration. Let it be said for the deaf to hear that Edo people are ready to defend their mandate and will not allow subversion or corruption of our collective will.”
The women also condemned what they called unprovoked verbal and physical attacks on women as they campaigned across the state, and called on the Nigerian Police to be firm in its bid to stem political violence as the election draws near.
She said most disturbing was this week’s attack in Edo North on the campaign train of Dr Idia Ize-Iyamu, the wife of the PDP governorship candidate, adding that “although the wife of the candidate was unhurt, several women in her entourage sustained various injuries with one or two cars damaged. We condemn these attacks and consider it an affront on the entire womenfolk.”
Princess Ihenyen therefore called on the police to also “be firm in its bid to stem crime and political violence in the elections slated for September 28th 2016.
“We are all equal stakeholders in the Edo project in spite of your political and ethic root or leaning. We have a right under the law to be served and protected by the security agencies, especially the police. A situation where opposition PDP members are hounded, arrested and subsequently detained by security agents is unwholesome, callous and injurious to our body polity.”
She also condemned the tendency of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct inconclusive elections, cautioning the commission against playing the script of any political party so that “the election will progress without hitches and rancour.
“This Professor Yakubu Mammud-led INEC must seize this opportunity offered by the Edo election to put an end to the gale of inconclusive elections which has hitherto threatened the needed confidence that INEC needs from within and outside the country.”
She added that all ad hoc staff of INEC engaged for the election must be neutral, non-aligned individuals with proven evidence of non-partisanship, even as their training and orientation must be publicly conducted as a way to create a level playing field for all political parties.

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