By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission to do everything within its powers to hold the governorship election in Edo State on September 19 as scheduled.
It also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order in Edo State during the poll in the state.
IPAC said that it was monitoring the political situation in Edo State and was already invoking its inbuilt mechanism in resolving the intra and inter party crisis.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, the National Chairman IPAC,
Leonard Nzenwa, asked security
agencies to discharge their duties professionally, neutrally and obey the rules of engagement as they work toward ensuring that vote, mandate and will of Edo people count in the election.
“We urge INEC, to be firm, open, transparent; be on the side of the people and disregard in unnecessary distraction to suspend or postpone the election. We demand that INEC should do everything within its power to hold the election in Edo State.
“We demand that all security agencies to discharge their duties professionally, neutrally and obey the rules of engagement as they work toward ensuring that vote, mandate and will of Edo people count in the election,” he said.
Nzenwa said that IPAC condemned the unfolding political upheavals and rascality in Edo State, adding that it is a dangerous misstep that can throw the entire country into a major crisis.
He urged all stakeholders to work towards ensuring that the Edo and Ondo polls hold successfully on scheduled dates.
According to him, the nation cannot afford a postponement or suspension on account of incivility of political actors in the State
“The Council urges our colleagues to restrain themselves and play by the rule and electoral guidelines. The nation cannot afford a political crisis in a state buffeted by insecurity and dire economic hardship visited on the people in an unending circle of lockdown.
“We are aware that there are 12 other Political Parties that have fielded candidates for the polls in the state and would not allow our colleagues in two other political parties to disrupt preparation towards these polls by actions. We advise all concerned to toe the path of honour and engage in issue-based campaign.
“IPAC is aware of several pronouncements and judgments of courts of competent jurisdiction since the Edo State House of Assembly crisis that prevented some members-elect from being sworn-in. The Council urges all the parties to abide by these Courts pronouncements and judgments instead of resulting to violence at this critical time when the good people of the Edo State are preparing to elect their governor for another four years.