Ezekwesili, other presidential candidates give conditions for violence-free polls
Ahead of next year’s general elections, presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Oby Ezekwesili, has given conditions for violence-free polls.
Speaking yesterday alongside other presidential candidates at an event organised by Presidential Summit Centre (PSC) in collaboration with Forum of Presidential Candidates (FPC) towards peaceful elections, Ezekwesili listed signing of amended electoral bill and non-interference of security personnel during the polls.
She cautioned that a repeat of military intimidation and harassment of voters, as it happened in Ekiti and Osun states governorship elections would not be accepted by Nigerians during the elections. She, therefore, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to listen to the court of public opinion and address lingering electoral issues ahead of the polls.
“There was a peace accord. In our own case, we signed, not because it was a ceremony but because we believed in it.“We want Nigerians to send a strong message to President Buhari that he must exhibit exemplary leadership quality that will ensure our election does not end up taking the country and the people down.
“And the way to do that is to listen to the court of public opinion, and that is that the country would want to have the best electoral act possible, and the way to ensure we have it is for the President to sign the electoral amendment bill 2018 into law.
“We should, therefore, come together to agree on the rules of the game, as far as the use of military is concerned. We don’t want a situation where the military will carry out a coup from the back door. None of us will accept that,” she stated.
Speaking on Violence-Free Election, spokesperson of PSC, Zara Mustapha Audu, noted that the centre was set up to improve elections in Nigeria by educating aspirants and the electorate on the need for a peaceful elections. Other candidates that attended the event are, Alhaji Muhammed Shittu (Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA), who urged fellow contestants to consider the interest of the nation first.
Also speaking was Dele Babalola of the Base University, who noted that hate speech and fake news could incite violence urged politicians to engage in issue-based campaigns, while security agencies should be neutral during the elections.