Mike Odiegwu, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to maintain neutrality in the September 19 governorship election in Edo State.
Speaking as a guest of a television programme, Wike asked the electoral umpire to use the Edo election to correct its previous mistakes.
He said as the giant of Africa, Nigeria could teach other countries something good on how to conduct free and fair elections.
The governor insisted that the success of Edo election would be largely determined by the role played by security agencies and INEC.
He said: “This is so because they often interfere with electoral processes, which manifests as scuttling of the will of the electorate.
“I do not know if I have 100 per cent confidence in INEC for now but maybe, as the days go on, what we will see may give us hope.
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“Nigeria prides itself to be the giant of Africa and we go to other countries to observe elections and adjudge them as free and fair. But we find it difficult to do same here. We must show one good thing people can learn from us.
“We want free and fair election. INEC should not be partial. They should use this election to correct the mistakes that have been done in the past.
“We want to see what was done under President Goodluck Jonathan when Adams Oshiomhole went to Aso rock to thank him for allowing free and fair election in Edo State then. We are appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to direct that democracy be protected in Edo election so that one man one vote will count. We will also go to Aso rock to thank him”.
Wike, who is the Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council, stated that Edo governorship election would be easy to win insisting that Governor Godwin Obaseki had a clear coast to return as the governor for a second term.
He said people were watching to see Edo people demonstrate their love for a man, who was celebrated as the pillar of Oshiomhole’s administration.