ATTAHIRU Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, wants all political parties participating in the Saturday, April 11, governorship election to play by the rule and give peace a chance.
Addressing a stakeholders’ forum for free, fair, peaceful and credible elections in Makurdi, Benue State capital, on Thursday, April 9, Jega said the state ranked highest in violence at the last elections and called for restraint on the part of stakeholders in the state.
According to the INEC boss, the level of disruption of electoral process witnessed in the state was incomparable to any other seen in the election. “We witnessed the highest incidences of violence and burning of INEC offices in Benue State at the last elections. That is why I felt the need to come here in Makurdi to appeal to stakeholders for peace. Close to 200 card readers were destroyed in one local government alone but I have come with more card readers.”
Jega encouraged the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressive Congress, APC, supporters and their leaders in the state to partner the commission to enable it conduct a peaceful and credible election in the state on Saturday. Earlier, Istifanus Dafwang, resident electoral commissioner, REC in the state, expressed uncertainty about the security of lives and properties in the coming elections, saying, “We don’t know what will happen this Saturday.” He claimed that armed thugs were everywhere and that their number would far outweigh security personnel deployed for the polls, noting that the situation would be worst in the North-east senatorial district of the state where Governor Gabriel Suswam and Barnabas Gemade, former national chairman of the PDP and serving senator, hail from.
— Apr. 20, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT