The Centre for Liberty has urged candidates participating in the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State to abide by the peace accord they signed and commit themselves to a violence-free poll.
The group in a statement by its Co-conveners, Ariyo-Dare Atoye and Adebayo Raphael, asked security agencies to live up to their responsibilities by protecting staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission and ensuring free, fair, credible and peaceful election.
The statement reads, “On Saturday, October 10, 2020, the good people of Ondo State will go to the polls to exercise their democratic right to vote for candidates of their choice. Despite the unfortunate occurrences of violence ahead of the polls, and during pre-election campaigns, we are optimistic that security agencies will live up to their responsibility on election day by protecting the permanent and ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission and ensuring free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.
“However, as the governorship candidates participating in the election are made to sign a peace accord and commit to a violence-free election, we wish to remind them to abide by this agreement as there is no alternative to a credible election in a democracy.
“It has been made clear by our foreign partners, that any attempt to undermine the credibility of the electoral process shall attract international sanctions, and as an organization, we shall not hesitate to demand for visa ban against any erring official or personality. It is part of the mandate of our organisation, Centre for Liberty, during this election to evaluate the conduct of political parties, their candidates and supporters, security agencies and other electoral stakeholders.
“Meanwhile, we wish to appreciate the enormous contribution of the Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar-led National Peace Committee in continuing to galvanize peace initiatives before and during our elections, as well as in committing all the stakeholders to electoral stability.
“While the peace initiative of the NPC is laudable, we however, wish to encourage the group to equally commit to an enduring electoral reforms that will institutionalize their peace framework, and guarantee free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.”