Tony Osauzo, Benin
Ahead of Saturday presidential and National Assembly elections, the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has called on all eligible voters to come out en masse and vote for a candidate of their choice.
He urged them not to be discouraged by the earlier postponement of the elections, but to renew their hope and zeal to participate in the exercise, which he said is their civic responsibility to the nation.
Besides, the Oba, while advising the electorate to vote wisely and not allow any primordial sentiments to becloud their sense of judgment, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prove itself as an unbiased electoral umpire in the conduct of the general elections.
The Benin monarch, in a press statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Desmond Agbama, also cautioned the youths against being used as thugs by politicians to disrupt the electoral process.
He stressed the need for the security agencies to be neutral while providing security on election day and refrain from intimidation and harassment of voters.
The Oba said the Benin crown remains non-partisan, hence a level-playing ground was provided for all politicians to campaign and canvass for votes irrespective of their political parties.
He prayed to God and the ancestors for a peaceful, free and fair 2019 general elections.