Ahead of the Edo State governorship election on Saturday, President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said that his commitment to ensure free and fair elections would be futile if other actors are more focused on winning elections by all means than abiding by the rules.
President Buhari disclosed this in a message to political, voters and security personnel ahead of the Edo State poll where he urged actors in the election to allow the will of the people to prevail.
He said, “I am passionately committed to free and fair elections, but my commitment is not enough if other actors at ground zero refuse to abide by the rules.”
Buhari in a statement signed by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity stated, “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.
“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.”
He went on to urge electoral officials and security agents to maintain neutrality to ensure dree and credible elections and avoid action(s) capable of compromising the integrity of the elections.”
He reiterated 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.”
This President’s address comes as the incumbent governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is set to test his strength at the poll against opposition candidate Osagie Ize-Iyamu who is running under the All Progressive Congress (APC).