THE Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC) has urged Nigerians to show understanding on the rescheduling of the governorship and States Houses of Assembly elections, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
INEC had on Wednesday shifted the election from March 11 to March 18.
Mr Yabagi Sani, the Chairman, IPAC, said this at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday, shortly after the council’s General Assembly emergency meeting.
Sani said there was need for support for INEC in the onerous task of conducting credible and acceptable election.
He expressed IPAC readiness to provide the necessary support for INEC on the conduct of the rescheduled election.
Sani said that IPAC believed that the last minute postponement would help INEC to adequately prepare for the election as well as ensure that it was credible and transparent.
“This is a trying period for our dear nation and calls for prayers, understanding and patriotism as we collectively consolidate our emerging democracy.
“This is time to reaffirm our faith in the fatherland and choose competent, resourceful and visionary governors and state legislators in the upcoming elections.
“The tasks ahead are enormous but surmountable if we join hands in unity and tenacity of purpose to build a better and greater Nigeria.
“It is time for us to demonstrate that democracy has come to stay in Nigeria and show the world that we are lovers of constitutional rule, good governance, due process and rule of law,” he said.
Sani said IPAC had always advised INEC on the need for early preparations for election.
He said that Nigerians would not accept excuses for poor performance as witnessed in the failure to upload results from polling units to INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV) in the Feb. 25 election.
Sani said that with the assurances that BVAS would function properly and results would be uploaded to IReV in real time, Nigerians and the international community expected credible, transparent and inclusive state election.
“The commission should this time justify the confidence Nigerians reposed in it and improve on its performance in the disputed Presidential and National Assembly polls.
“The council urges security agents to sit up and be alive to their constitutional mandate to secure lives and property before, during and after elections so as to avert the violence and other security breaches witnessed during the presidential election.”
Sani urged Nigerians to come out en masse on the election day and vote for their preferred candidates and ensure their votes counted in the overall results.
According to him, the ballot is sacrosanct, the will and mandate of the people freely given to a political party must be respected.
“Any attempt to manipulate the upcoming elections must be resisted. The era of vote buying and other irregularities that marred previous polls is over.
“The success of the forthcoming gubernatorial and legislative elections will be a giant step forward in our march to national greatness, political stability, economic prosperity and visionary leadership,” he said. (NAN)