- Many stakeholders have expressed concern about the conduct of security agencies as the 2019 general elections fast approaches
- Governor Okowa warned security agencies against impartiality and intimidation of voters in the course of the election
- The Delta state governor said Nigerians expect that the 2019 election will be hitch free, fair and peaceful
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state has urged security agencies and those who will be involved in the conduct of the 2019 general elections to be impartial.
The governor made the call on Tuesday, January 15, when the south-south zone of the Police Service Commission (PSC) monitoring team led by Austin Braimoh paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Asaba.
According to the governor, “politicians should be allowed to campaign freely, they should be allowed to reach out to the people to ask for votes, but, the people must also be allowed to exercise their will freely and we expect that impartiality is carried and there is no form of intimidation of voters in the course of the election because, when such happens, it will create a lot of challenges that will run in the course of the post-election era.
"Nigerians expect that the 2019 election will be hitch free, free, fair and peaceful and the will of the people will prevail, because, the proper conduct of the elections will deepen the strength of our democracy and bring more foreign investment.
“If we conduct an election that does not meet global standards, it will affect our democracy and our nation,” the governor warned.
Okowa prayed that the conduct of the election meets global standards and is acceptable to the world. He said Nigeria's economy is presently challenged and any further challenge will set the country back.
According to him, for the electoral process to go smoothly, the police has a lot of roles to play to boost voters confidence.
Speaking earlier, Braimoh said they were in Delta state for the continuation of their re-election sensitization programme.
He said: “Police officers on election duties have a responsibility of ensuring that peaceful atmosphere are maintained at the polling and counting centres during elections and that citizens exercise their franchise without fear of coercion, intimidation, violence or manipulation.”
Braimoh commended Governor Okowa's administration for its support to the police and listed what is expected of the police during the elections.
Meanwhile, YIAGA Africa’s Watching The Vote (WTV) has commenced a nationwide advocacy visit to election stakeholders in Nigeria.
The largest citizen movement committed to credible elections in Nigeria, says the move is in a bid to, “share the promises of the WTV project, discuss the deployment plans for the 2019 elections, seek stakeholder buy-in and explore areas of collaboration as well as to provide information on the ongoing pre-election observation across Nigeria.”
This was disclosed in a statement sent to Legit.ng on Tuesday, January 15, by the project director of YIAGA Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu.
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