By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The lntre Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has condemned the recent political violence in Ondo, ahead of Saturday governorship election scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the State.
In a statement issued yesterday by the IPAC National chairman, Leonard Nzenwa, the Council said it is outrageous and a step backward in the progress made in the September Edo State gubernatorial election which was generally adjudged as free, fair, credible and peaceful.
Council therefore warned political parties, their candidates and supporters to desist from thuggery, brigandage and garrison politics, saying that the era of do-or-die politics has gone.
IPAC also urged political parties and their candidates to imbibe issue-based campaigns to enable eligible voters to choose the best candidate that will effectively govern the State and provide essential dividends of democracy that will improve their standards of living.
“The good people of Ondo State demand and deserve a peaceful environment to carry out their civic responsibilities of choosing the next governor of the State.
“IPAC calls on security agents to be decisive and proactive in safeguarding lives and property in the State, and promptly arrest perpetrators of violence and their sponsors to face the full wrath of the law. The lives of Nigerians matter and should not be cut short to gratify the inordinate ambitions of political buccaneers masquerading as democrats.
“IPAC demands a credible, transparent, acceptable and nonviolent governorship election in Ondo State this weekend as obtainable in Edo State. Council will be in Ondo State this week to further sensitize the people on the forthcoming election and mobilize them to come out en masse to vote for their preferred candidates and ensure their votes are counted and count in the overall result. This is the beauty of democracy.
“The people’s mandate is sacrosanct, any attempt to thwart it must be resisted by all lovers of constitutional governance in Nigeria. The days of Wide Wide West of electoral robbery and and violence are gone.
“IPAC urges INEC to be neutral and provide a level playing field to all political parties and their candidates and ensure that all electoral materials needed for the poll is ready and in good condition, bearing in mind that the credibility of the Commission as an unbaised umpired is at stake.
“It is obvious that the whole world is watching us as in Edo State governorship election. Let us collectively make Nigeria proud. We are all in it together.
“The lives of ordinary Ondo person is very important and politicians should desist from toying with it. IPAC urges all politicians in Ondo to conduct themselves responsibly and be law abiding”, the Council said in the statement.