Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to be fully prepared to conduct the rescheduled elections, in a manner, that would be adjudged as seamless and efficient.
Gowon made the call on Thursday in Abuja at a news conference on the state of the nation with the theme: “The Burden of the Elders at the Dawn of 2019 General Election’’.
“Our first counsel to the nation as it approaches this new frontier is that INEC must be fully prepared to conduct the rescheduled elections seamlessly and efficiently.
“It should be done in a manner that its outcome is adjudged by all to be free, fair and credible.
“The political party leaders, the candidates and their followers should conduct themselves with civility, decorum and restraint in both their words and deeds during and in the aftermath of the elections.
“INEC can only achieve success if the contending parties regulate their behaviour and conduct in accordance with democratic norms and the law.
“We urge all participants to accept the final results announced by INEC and where parties feel aggrieved; recourse should be made to dispute resolution mechanisms prescribed by the constitution and the Electoral Act,’’ he said.
On election violence, he said: “It is heart-rending for elders to stand by and watch as the nation bleed profusely and pretend that all is as well as it should be.
“The violent turn of expressions deepened economic hardships and increasing desperation of the national polity has to be reversed to keep hope alive.’’
The elders who were present at the forum were Gen. Dr. Yakubu Gowon, Alhaji Ahmed Joda, Prof. Akin Mabogunje, Dr Christopher Kolade, Elder Shyngle Wigwe, Prof. George Obiozor, Alhaji Mohammed Hayatu Deen,Prof. Jo Irukwu (SAN).
Others are Prof. Anya. O. Anya, Alhaji Ahmed Mahmoud Yayale, Chief Folake Solanke (SAN), Prof. Frank Okoisor, Rev. Ladi Thompson and Chief Philip C. Asiodu.