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CLO calls for violence free, credible polls on Saturday


Nigeria’s foremost civil society and pro-democracy group, the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has called for violence free, credible and fair election as Nigerians prepare to elect their Governors and members of the State Houses of Assembly this Saturday.

Chairman of Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Southeast zone , Comrade Aloysius Attah who made the call in a statement issued​ in Enugu on Thursday, ​ condemned the brazen resort to violence, threats of war and anarchy ​ by some political actors across the five southeast states of Abia, ​ Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo.

The CLO Chairman posited that the main ingredients of democracy remains popular participation and handing over the collective will of the people in a mandate given to a winner of an elective political post who emerged in a credible,​ free, fair, transparent and​ violence free process.

He posited that anything short of the above ingredients is a recipe for disaster while anyone who emerges in violation of the stated principles carries a tainted and stolen mandate which can never survive the present political re-awakening sweeping across the country .

The CLO therefore called on the actors in the political process which included the electorates, party leaders, stakeholders, youths, INEC officials and all involved in the process to play by the rules and resist any attempt to mutilate the process or mar the credibility of the exercise through any unacceptable acts or attitude.

“Of particular reference is Enugu state where political tension has reached a feverish pitch because of the outcome of the last presidential /National Assembly election where the ruling party in the state was defeated in major parts of the state while both the loser, the PDP and the winner, Labour Party are seriously engaged in a battle of wits on who might eventually carry the day in the Governorship/ state assembly election coming up on Saturday.

“People of Enugu state have not forgotten its not glorious past between 2003 to 2007 , when political violence and bloodletting was elevated to a state-art. No temptation of any sort or desperate quest for power should push anyone to toe such road of infamy anymore.

“Electoral contest is a game and whoever wins under a credible process should assume the mantle of office. No one should be allowed to use the undue advantage of being in government or within the corridors of power to intimidate, harass or truncate the electoral process. The opposition trying to wrestle power from the ruling class should also desist from blackmail, incitement or unnecessary propaganda and falsehood.

“Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has been commended as a peace loving and peace promoting helmsman in Enugu state. It is therefore very important that such legacy prevails till his leaves office and thereafter. We therefore enjoin him to ensure that peace prevails and the people are secured across the 17 local government of Enugu state as they go to the polls this Saturday.

INEC officials must ensure neutrality and resist any attempt by desperate politicians to use them to subvert the people’s choice and will. The security agencies including the local vigilantes, Ebubeagu among others must restrict themselves to the duty of securing the people and the voting process against any invasion or attacks of any sort. No one should make himself a willing tool for any form of indecent act or actions that can derail the democratic process.

“There is life after the election and it is important that anyone hoping to enjoy tomorrow must be careful of his actions and inaction so as to preserve our democracy and also ensure a positive legacy for tomorrow’s generation. Let us vote not fight and above all, allow the ultimate wish of the people to prevail above individual or collective interests” The CLO stated.

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