Democrat Africa tasks INEC, parties, others on credible polls

...as electoral forum links successful polls to consolidation of democracy

The Democrat Union of Africa (DUA), an affiliate of the International Democrat Union has said that critical stakeholders in the electoral process have roles to play to ensure free, fair and very peaceful
elections in this Saturday’s polls.

DUA charge was directed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the political parties and their candidates, agents of candidates and political parties, the security agencies, the media, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the Faith-based organisations.

The Union made the call at press conference ahead of the presidential and National Assembly election in Abuja, addressed by Peter Mac-Manu, the honorary chairman of DUA.

Mac-Manu said the whole world was looking up to Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, to overcome what is so telling and associated with the conduct of the general election.

He reminded the actors that the conduct of general elections, if not properly managed by all stakeholders at all levels, could degenerate into unappealing and regrettable results.

“It is also very important that the good people of Nigeria recognise this fact and go into the elections and come out with a peaceful Nigeria, stable country and keep their eyes on the development of Nigeria and its people.

“DUA wants to draw the attention of the INEC to continue to provide a levelled playing field to all political parties, and their sponsored candidates. DUA wishes to reiterate the point that all well-meaning Nigerians must respect the rules of the game and the code of conduct.

“The security operatives are expected to exhibit high level of professionalism in their efforts to provide security support to all and sundry and ensure that Nigeria enjoys peace before, during and after the elections.

“We wish to bring to the attention of the good people of Nigeria that in
all their actions they must consider the vulnerable in the society; the children, the women, the aged and persons with disabilities and be inclusive in all political undertakings and campaign,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Electoral Forum said a successful outcome of the general elections would strengthen Nigeria’s democracy, election management body and unity of the country.

Adebayo Olukoshi, chairman of the forum stated this while addressing journalists in Abuja enjoined eligible voters to play their part by exercising their civic duty.

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He said: “As you know, we are approaching what many of you have described in the media as make or mar elections that are scheduled to take place on 25th of this month.

“There is a special significance of the election on Saturday. It has the potentiality to strengthen our democracy, to strengthen our election management body and to strengthen our bond of national unity.

“On the basis of our deliberations and interactions which we have had with various stakeholders and a key official of INEC at the national level, we can declare ourselves reasonable satisfied that INEC at the national level has taken most of the steps that are necessary to ensure that we have peaceful elections.

“We also encourage all Nigerians in exercising their rights on Saturday to do so with the full awareness that the success of the will be as much for them as it would be for INEC.”

On her part, Amina Zakari, a former acting chairman of INEC expressed optimism that the elections would be one of the best in Nigeria’s political history.

“At the end of the day we hope by Saturday we will have one of the best elections conducted for the country, so that it can strengthen our democracy as mentioned. And we hope Nigerians will come out en masse on Saturday.

“Be rest assured the elections will hold and they will be credible, fair and transparent. We are calling on all Nigerians to come out and cast their votes, whereby this democracy can be sustained,” Zakari said.

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