By Chuks Okocha
The immediate-past Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security officials and the electorate in next Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State to ensure that the peaceful, credible, free and fair process witnessed in the Edo State recent election is not only sustained, but improved upon.
Saraki in a statement issued by his media office in Abuja yesterday advised INEC and security officials to quickly do a comprehensive review of how it achieved the commendable process in Edo State, and ensure that nothing less than that is repeated in Ondo State.
According to him, “These isolated polls as we have in Ondo State next Saturday and recently in Edo State have given us the opportunity to perfect our electoral system. We must continue to improve on the system with every one of these out-of-season elections so that the next general election will perhaps be the best the country has witnessed in the last 60 years.
“It is a good omen that the election is coming a few days after the 60th Independence anniversary of Nigeria. INEC, security officials and all individuals involved in the October 10 election in Ondo State must present a credible poll to all Nigerians as part of the Independence anniversary gifts.
“From the Edo State experience, we have seen that when the process is free and fair, the post-election contestation and the tension they usually generate are easily eliminated. The sides that do not win will be graceful in defeat while the victorious one will be magnanimous in victory.”
“This is how we can build our democracy and make the system work for the benefit of the people.
“So, INEC should replicate the transparent process we saw in Edo State in which results were transmitted electronically from polling units to the collation centres, and it was possible for all interested parties to monitor the returns as they came in.”
Meanwhile, Saraki has urged the registered voters in Ondo State to vote for the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), who he described as experienced, mature, committed and a brilliant professional that has the ability to think out of the box in finding solutions to the socio-economic problems confronting the state.
“I appeal to the people of Ondo State to vote for Jegede because he will faithfully fulfill all the promises he made to the people and implement the lofty programmes of the PDP,” he stated.