President Buhari sues for peace in gubernatorial elections

By Timothy Choji, Abuja

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Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari

Ahead of Saturday’s gubernatorial election in Kogi and Bayelsa States, President Muhammadu Buhari has called for fairness and transparency in the two elections.

The President made the call in a presidential statement issued on Thursday.

“On Saturday November 16, voters in two states, Bayelsa and Kogi, will be left alone to decide who takes charge of the administration of their important states for the next four years.

“Since the ban on campaigns was lifted a few weeks ago, their citizens have been called to attend political rallies and were bombarded with advertising on bill boards, radio and TV; texts, tweets, WhatsApp and Facebook posts in campaigns that sadly, have so far recorded not a few uninspiring incidents of violence and intemperate use of language.

“I call on voters in Bayelsa and Kogi States to exercise their franchise in a peaceful and orderly manner and in line with the law in all situations. Law enforcement officials must ensure that citizens are allowed to vote without harassment and intimidation and any attempt to steal or hijack ballots must be stopped using all legal means.”

Non-Partisanship

The President further made a strong demand for exemplary conduct of non-partisanship on the part of election and law enforcement officials in the two states.

“All must carry out their functions with fairness and transparency; without let or hindrance and without fear or favour,” he said.

The Nigerian leader advised those contesting to accept the outcome of the elections in the spirit of sportsmanship.

He said “In all democratic elections, there are bound to be winners and losers and the elections in Bayelsa and Kogi will not be different. All candidates should be ready to accept the outcomes and wherever they are dissatisfied, they should follow the due process of the law in seeking redress. There must not be a resort to self-help.”

President Buhari wished the two states and their people a safe and credible exercise as they vote in these historic and suspenseful elections.