By Ezeocha Nzeh
Ahead of the September 19 governorship election in Edo state, the Coalition of Civil Society organizations (CSO), for Good Governance and Electoral Matters has condemned the growing rave of violence orchestrated by political stakeholders in the state
The group, which staged a protest in Abuja regretted that politicians in Edo state have resorted to violence Instead of issue based campaign.
Speaking to journalists at the protest ground, leader of the group, Comrade Adamu Kabir Matazu, and the Convener, Comrade Danesi Momoh Prince, also addressed a petition to the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Amb. Catriona Laing C.B, urging her to intervene and “help the will of the people to prevail”.
The protesters who carried placards with various inscriptions including ‘INEC, make Edo votes count’, ‘Edo people deserve peace’, ‘We will not sleep until there is a peaceful election’ among others, regretted that with less than 39 days to the polls, politicians have unfortunately heightened security challenges in the state, with plots to turn the state into a battle ground
“Your Excellency, we request that you prevail on the Federal Government to implement a coherent security strategy to ensure the elections are free, fair, and represent the true will of the people”, they stated.
The coalition, which has cited the various violent attacks on both the side of the APC and PDP candidates expressed their concerns that the country was witnessing an unprecedented level of verbal and physical attacks, especially on the Governor of Edo State, His Excellency Governor Godwin Obaseki, his Deputy, and their supporters. Of particular note was the attack on Governor Godwin Obaseki and his campaign entourage by political thugs and hoodlums.
They therefore called on the British High Commission to intervene and encourage the release of a number of international observers to monitor the election.
It also admonished the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure the conduct of a free and free election in both Edo and Ondo States, adding that it must not allow the commission to be used by overzealous politicians in Edo state to either postpone the election or rig it in favour of any political party or candidate.