Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo state has called on Nigerians to insist that the political class play by the rules to avoid violence in 2023 elections.
Senator Uzodimma therefore identified Political Leadership, Security Agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as key stakeholders to the success of 2023 general election.
He also urged the electorate to ensure that these stakeholders conform with the electoral act 2022 as amended.
The Governor who spoke at the 2022 Political Stakeholders Conference organised by the Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC in Abuja on Wednesday, emphasized that the actions and inaction of the political leaders might have direct impact on next year’s election.
‘’What they say or fail to say in the electioneering campaigns during and after the elections, would go a long way in determining the success or failure of the elections. It should be instructive that if our leaders make inflammatory statements and present themselves as ethnic it religious warlords or bigots, who promote their sectional interests above national interest, they will simply be goading their followers to war and not elections’’, he said
Citing the commitment of President Buhari to the ideals of democracy, the Governor said the President had already committed to free fair and credible polls next year, by not interfering in the conduct of some off season Elections.
‘’He has already demonstrated his commitment to this promise by endorsing the various reforms that will ensure greater integrity and credibility of the 2023 Elections. A case in point is the signing of the bill on electronic transmission of election result by the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’’, Senator Uzodimma noted.
The Governor of Imo Sate who expressed confidence in the readiness and the ability of the Nigerian Police to ensure a peaceful election also advised them to avoid compromising the sanctity or intergrity of the exercise.
Governor Hope Uzodimma noted that the role of INEC goes beyond just conducting Election, urged the umpire to be honest, transparent and fair in all its activities, and should be free from interference from any quarter.
Also, the IPAC Chairman, Alhaji Yagbagi Sani said the summit was to ensure the conduct of free fair and credible election in the country next year.
A former Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim commended INEC for the introduction of technology in the conduct of election.
Anyim however suggested that the BVAS should be subjected to a third party evaluation to ensure that the technology cannot be manipulated.
The Director General of National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Professor Ayo Omotayo represented by the Director Research, Professor Don Pam Sha urged political parties not to allow their supporters to cause problems during next year’s election.
The theme of the summit is “Political Parties, Elections and Consolidation of Democracy: Emerging Issues and needed Interventions’’.
Reporting by Ogochukwu Okoronkwo; Editing by Annabel Nwachukwu