Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The lnter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) said on Wednesday that it has concluded plans to hold a road show on Thursday in Ondo State to sensitise and mobilise voters ahead of the gubernatorial election scheduled for Saturday, October 10.
The Council said it has also deploy measures across the state to effectively monitor the election, being a major stakeholder that fielded candidates for the election.
IPAC National Publicity Secretary, Agbo Major, in a statement on Wednesday, challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the build on the successes recorded in Edo election.
He said: “INEC’s neutrality and competence in conducting an election that meets international standard cannot be overemphasised. We must get it right this time and keep improving the great arsenal of democracy in Africa.
‘The Commission will be the cynosure of all eyes around the world, therefore, they are expected to replicate its laudable performance in Edo State election or even improve on that.
‘This will, undoubtedly, strengthen Nigerians’ confidence in electoral process and boost their interest in participating in future elections if they know that their votes will be counted in the final result that would be declared by INEC.’
The Council urged security agencies to be awake to their constitutional mandates to protect lives and property, and deal severely with troublemakers who might want to subvert the collective will of the people in choosing their next governor.
It said that the unprecedented violence that preceded the election is a sad commentary in the nation’s political process, and thus demanded the arrest and prosecution of those involved in campaign violence to serve as a deterrent to others.
‘Treating electoral violence with a kid’s glove is the bane of our emerging democracy. Nigeria is a nation governed by laws and not impunity as obtainable in a banana republic. So, there’s no substitute to a peaceful, credible and acceptable governorship election in Ondo State.’
IPAC, being the umbrella body of the current 18 registered political parties, encouraged Ondo people to take their destiny in their hands and ensure they vote, protect their votes and electoral materials to prevent rigging, ballot stuffing and snatching, manipulation of results and vote buying that characterised previous elections in the State.
It warned against political rascality and violence even as the electorate goes to exercise their franchise, insisting that election is a civic duty not war.