By Chimezie Godfrey
The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has called on all stakeholders to set aside their differences and ensure the success of the Governorship election in Anambra State.
IPAC equally appealed to all aggrieved people to sheath their swords and embrace peace in the interest of the state.
Dr Leonard Nzenwa , National Chairman IPAC and National Chairman, African Action Congress (AAC) made the call during a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja.
Dr. Nzenwa said the Council commends the Senate for listening to the Nigerian people who strongly opposed its rejection of electronic transmission of results, reversed itself, passed the bill in support of it and directed INEC to use it in future elections while awaiting Mr President’s assent.
He said this is in tandem with the aspiration of all lovers of democratic governance in Nigeria, adding that the need for transparency and credibility of the nation’s electoral process cannot be overemphasized as citizens jointly consolidate the emerging democracy.
He noted that election is the beauty of democracy, adding that peaceful transfer of power after a free, fair and credible election is the hallmark of representative governance.
Dr Nzenwa who stressed that the ballot is sacrosanct, said that the mandate of the people freely given in an election must be respected for sustainable democracy in the country.
He therefore called on all stakeholders to to give peace a chance and ensure that forthcoming Anambra Governorship election is successful.
He said,”Accordingly, IPAC calls on all stakeholders in the electoral process to ensure the success of 6th November 2021, gubernatorial poll in Anambra State. We should all set aside individual differences and partisan politics, and work towards the success of this crucial election that will take the good people of Anambra State to the next level.
“Council urges all aggrieved people to sheath their swords and embrace peace in the interest of the State in particular and the nation in general. It is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war. Dialogue is vital in resolving individual and group differences and chart the way forward.
“Council calls on the youth to eschew violence in all its ramifications and shun political buccaneers masquerading as democrats whose stock in trade is to use them for electoral thuggery, ballot snatching and rigging to thwart the people’s mandate.
“It is time to jettison do-or-die politics, imbibe issue-based politics and embrace the people’s choice for governor. We must respect the sanctity of the ballot box as the symbol of democracy.”
Dr Nzenwa pointed out that democracy can only flourish in a peaceful environment, adding that a threat to democratic process is a threat to Nigeria as nation.
“It is our only hope of building a strong, united, stable, prosperous, equitable and just society.
“A threat to democratic process is a threat to our nationhood. It is unacceptable and must be resisted by all patriots.
“IPAC calls on all stakeholders to rise to the occasion, defend our frail democracy and its institutions, and ensure that this Saturday’s governorship election is successful and meets international standards.
“Council urges eligible voters to turn out en masse and vote for their preferred candidates and ensure their votes count in the overall result. The era of vote buying and selling is over. The electorate should not sell their destiny for a mess of electoral porridge. They should vote according to their conscience as power belongs to the people.
“INEC should provide a level playing field to all political parties and their candidates participating in the election and ensure electoral materials are provided, and voting starts as scheduled in all polling units in the State.
“The neutrality of INEC in this election will determine the survival of democracy in Nigeria. All eyes are on the commission and its officials as they discharge this onerous civic responsibility,” he said.
Dr Nzenwa also urged the security agents to discharge their duties professionally and ensure adequate protection of lives and property during the exercise.
He added that security agents should equally release dedicated phone numbers for the people to call if there is any breach of the peace in their polling units.
“Let us go into this election as patriotic Nigerians, discharge our patriotic duties peacefully, consolidate our democracy and reap its dividends.
“We are all in it together. Together, we will make Nigeria great again and bequeath a decent democratic nation to future generations,” Dr Nzenwa appealed.