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‘Election is not war’ — group asks politicians to caution supporters

‘Election is not war’ — group asks politicians to caution supporters
February 22
22:22 2019
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The Coalition of INEC Observers Organisations has asked politicians not to see election as war.

In a statement on Friday, the group said it had noticed some pre-election violence in Awka Ibom state. It said politicians are expected to caution their supporters against the use of hate speech and violence.

“We as a coalition have noted some pre election related violence in Akwa Ibom state. The Nigerian Police have also demonstrated capacity in terms of managing crisis situations while remaining neutral in doing so,” it said.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reassured Nigerians following the one week postponement of the General Election amidst some imminent challenges to a transparent, free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.

“This, Nigerians expect to see in the processes of this General elections on the 23rd February and March 9, 2019.

“Nigeria is not at war. We expect political parties and politicians to caution their wards and supporters on the need to avoid the use of hate speeches, violence and confrontational tendencies in Akwa Ibom state.

“The interest of a few politicians should not be allowed to undermine our electoral process as power is transient. Electorate must be free to exercise their franchise devoid of intimidation, molestation, unwarranted arrest of party chieftains, use of force and all forms of anti democratic tendencies which we have  noticed  in our pre election observation.”

The coalition urged the security operatives to remain apolitical while carrying out their duties.

It also called for the arrest of vote buyers while urging the electorate to come out en masse to carry out their civic duties.

“One man/woman, one vote must take the centre stage in Akwa Ibom state and other parts of the country,” it said.

“We hereby implore  all security agencies to live above board in line with the constitutional provisions of law enforcement and rule of engagement while they constantly remain apolitical and need to be seen in doing so.

“Perpetrators of vote buying should be arrested and brought to book. Finally, we encourage all eligible voters to come out en masse and exercise their franchise.”

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