President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday advised political parties, candidates and security agents to behave responsibly in the forthcoming Edo State gubernatorial elections.
In a statement by presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, the President in a message to voters, political parties, election officials and security personnel, reiterated his commitment to free and fair elections.
Buhari was quoted to have said: “I am passionately committed to free and fair elections, but my own commitment is not enough if other actors at ground zero refuse to abide by the rules.”
According to President Buhari, “I want to see democratic standards in the country raised higher at every level, but these cannot be achieved when politicians resort to do or die methods to gain power by any means or machination.”
He said that “the do-or-die mentality to politics is a threat to free and fair elections because the actors are more focused on winning than caring about a fair outcome that reflects the Will of the people.”
Shehu said the President appealed to all political parties and their candidates to behave peacefully and respect law and order. He also advised election officials and security agents “to remain neutral to ensure free and fair elections and avoid any action(s) capable of compromising the integrity of the elections.”
He said President Buhari stressed that “conducting free and fair elections is one of my main concerns for our democracy, and I want this commitment to be one of the legacies I will leave behind when I depart office.”