National Commissioner and chairman information and Voters Education Committee of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, Festus Okoye, has said there is no alternative to the peaceful conduct of the governorship election in Edo and Ondo states.
He said failure to do so will leave both states with constitutional logjam that would be difficult to resolve.
At a sensitisation forum for the media in Benin, Okoye noted that political parties must eschew violence, use of intemperate, inflammatory language designed to incite violence.
He said, “Political parties and all the critical stakeholders in the electoral process must see the conduct of these elections as a national project that must be executed in strict compliance with all the safety protocols.
“There is no alternative to the peaceful conduct of these elections as the alternative will leave the people of the two states with a constitutional logjam that may be difficult to resolve. Political parties must eschew violence. Political Parties and their candidates must eschew the use of intemperate, inflammatory and base language designed to inflame passions or incite violence.
“On our part, we are determined and resolved to proceed with the conduct of the Edo and Ondo Governorship elections and all the outstanding bye-elections. In doing so, the Commission will not compromise the safety and welfare of its staff, ad-hoc staff as well as the voters. We will work closely with the security agencies to arrest threats and degrade acts of violence,” he added.
He stated that the media was an important and indispensable component of the democratic process, assuring that the Commission would continue its robust partnership with the media as it sought to consolidate Nigerian democracy.
“Hence, partnership with the media is critical in the preparation and delivery of the Commission’s messages and programmes to the Nigerian people. We therefore implore you to take time and understand and understudy the powers of the Commission within the context and ambit of the Constitution, the Electoral Act and the Regulations, Manuals and Guidelines in place for the smooth conduct of elections,” he added.