By Musa Adamu
Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has said the people of Edo State has demonstrated exceptional resilience and stood out as champions of democracy by standing against obvious intimidation to not only vote but also to ensure that their votes counted.
While congratulating Governor Godwin Obaseki on his victory in the Saturday’s governorship election in the state, the CNPP noted that the people of Edo State has given Nigerians the needed tonic to kill godfatherism everywhere in the country.
In a statement signed by its Secretary, Willy Ezugwu, CNPP added “the visa ban slammed on some politicians who upturned the will of the people in previous elections may have also contributed in reducing the degree of compromise by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Edo State.
“The people of Edo State is the real winner in the September 18, 2020 governorship election for coming out enmasse, standing against obvious intimidation, and ensuring that their votes were counted as well as insisting that their votes must count.
“Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is indeed a popular candidate in the state by all standards but we see every vote against him and his party as a vote against godfatherism in the country.
“The Edo people have again demonstrated that if voters turn out in large numbers to vote and stand to protect their votes, it will go a long way in bringing sanity to the electoral system and ensure the sanctity of the ballot box is upheld for democracy to thrive in the country.
“Godfatherism and nepotism are the two major killers of the Nigerian democracy. So, we urge Nigerians to emulate the Edo people and united to retire all godfathers from politics everywhere in the country.
“Now that the people are awake, political parties should begin to compel their elected public officeholders to deliver exceptional dividends of democracy for the good of the people as a prerequisite for reelection.
“We, therefore, commend the international community for the recent visa restrictions placed on identified election riggers in the country.
“The CNPP therefore urge more countries in the international community help save Nigerian democracy by identifying and visa bans on election riggers in Africa, extending such restrictions to members of their families, judicial officers, as well as all the beneficiaries, including top members of benefiting political parties, ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“INEC is hereby commended for not bowing completely to federal pressure to utterly corrupt the electoral process. It must be noted that if INEC does not want any election to be rigged, no politician can alter the will of the people.
“The only way Nigeria will survive beyond 2023 is to ensure equity, justice and fair play in the next general elections. And the responsibility is placed on INEC and the Nigerian political parties to ensure that the country remains un-dismembered by being fair to all parts of the country.
“It is only in the atmosphere of justice and level playing field that Nigeria can have peace and remain a united indivisible entity”, the CNPP observed.