By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The African Action Congress (AAC) has condemned the recent political violence in Ondo State ahead of the Saturday governorship election in the state.
It described the incidents as outrageous and a step backward in the progress made in the September Edo State gubernatorial election generally adjudged as free, fair, credible and peaceful.
In statement issued by the National Chairman of AAC, Mr. Leonard Nzenwa, the party warned political parties, their candidates and supporters to desist from thuggery, brigandage and garrison politics as the era of do-or-die politics has gone.
He urged political parties and their candidates to imbibe issue-based campaigns to enable eligible voters to choose the best candidate that will effectively govern the state and provide essential dividends of democracy that will improve their standards of living.
According to him, the good people of Ondo State demand and deserve a peaceful environment to carry out their civic responsibilities of choosing the next governor of the state.
Nzenwa who also speaks for a faction of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), urged security agents to be decisive and proactive in safeguarding lives and property in the state, and to promptly arrest perpetrators of violence and their sponsors to face the full wrath of the law.
“The lives of Nigerians matter and should not be cut short to gratify the inordinate ambitions of political buccaneers masquerading as democrats.
“AAC demands a credible, transparent, acceptable and nonviolent governorship election in Ondo State this weekend as obtainable in Edo State. Council will be in Ondo State this week to further sensitise the people on the forthcoming election and mobilise them to come out en masse to vote for their preferred candidates and ensure their votes are counted and count in the overall result. This is the beauty of democracy.
“The people’s mandate is sacrosanct; any attempt to thwart it must be resisted by all lovers of constitutional governance in Nigeria. The days of Wild-wild West of electoral robbery and violence are gone,” he said.
Nzenwa enjoined INEC to be neutral and provide a level- playing field to all political parties and their candidates and ensure that all electoral materials needed for the poll are ready and in good condition, bearing in mind that the credibility of the commission as an unbaised umpired is at stake.
According to him, the life of ordinary Ondo person is very important, adding that politicians should desist from toying with it.