Edo Poll: Obaseki calls for violence free election

Just a day to the Edo State Governorship election, the Governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his second term ambition is not worth spilling the blood of anyone.

He specifically asked God to let him lose his re-election bid “if it will cost the blood of anybody.”

The governor reassured that the Saturday’s governorship election in the state would be peaceful and violence-free.

A statement quoted him as speaking after a one-day prayer and fasting session for a peaceful election, organized by the Edo Christian Community for all the governorship candidates ahead of the election.

The statement was titled, ‘My re-election not worth spilling of blood – Obaseki’, and sent by Obaseki’s Special Assistant on Media, Crusoe Osagie.

Obaseki urged eligible voters to come out en masse without fear of intimidation or harassment.

The Governor noted that there was no need for any form of violence during the electioneering process.

He said, “Ordinarily, an election is supposed to be a contest where people go to sell their ideal, and citizens in their own free will go and vote for those ideals they believe in; it shouldn’t be one where people will do anything to get power.

“Election should not be one in which we shed blood because the election will always come. If you die in an election, you will not be there in the next one to vote. So, there is no need for violence.

“It’s unfortunate that where we are today we are all afraid that there will be trouble, that there will be crisis and violence but by the grace of God, we will all come out and vote and there won’t be any bloodshed.

“There is no need for any violence and if anybody decides to act in a violent manner just walk away because our lives are very precious. I have a covenant with God; if it will cost the blood of anybody for me to get into power, he should not let me have power.”

On his part, the National President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Reverend Felix Omobude, prayed that God would make peace reign before, during, and after the election.

Meanwhile, counter reactions has be-faced the Inspector-General of Police, order for the restriction of vehicular movement from 11.59pm on Friday to 6pm on Saturday.

The IG had noted that the order was informed by the need to prevent the free flow, circulation and use of illicit arms and hard drugs and checkmate the movement of political thugs and other malicious individuals.

The IG in a statement by the force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, enjoined the citizens to go out en-masse on the day of the election and vote, noting that the police and other security agencies have been sufficiently mobilised to provide a safe, secure and conducive environment for the election.

In a related development also, the President Muhammadu Buhari has advised political parties, candidates and security agents to behave responsibly in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Edo.

In a message to voters, political parties, election officials and security personnel, the President also warned against what he described as “the do-or-die mentality to politics.” The president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement in Abuja, quoted Buhari to have said: “I am passionately committed to free and fair elections, but my own commitment is not enough if other actors at ground zero refuse to abide by the rules. ”I want to see democratic standards in the country raised higher at every level, but these cannot be achieved when politicians resort to do-or-die methods to gain power by any means or machination. “The do-or-die mentality to politics is a threat to free and fair elections because the actors are more focused on winning than caring about a fair outcome that reflects the will of the people.”

The president appealed to all political parties and their candidates to respect law and order. He also advised electoral officials and security agents “to remain neutral to ensure free and fair elections and avoid any action(s) capable of compromising the integrity of the elections.”

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