Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Thursday, urged the various stakeholders in the Saturday national and state legislative rerun elections in Rivers State to ensure that the poll is free, fair, credible and violence free.
In a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu in Abuja, Saraki said it is high time the country moved away from turning election into event for blood letting.
Saraki said: “Election days are supposed to mark the renewal of mandates and advancement of democracy which has been rightly defined as the ‘government of the people, by the people and for the people’. Therefore, it is trite that no position or interest being canvassed during the poll is worth the blood of any Nigerian.
“It is time to put an end to unnecessary waste of human lives during electioneering process. What we have lost to various conflicts across the country in recent time is not only unfortunate but unacceptable. We cannot afford to deepen the malaise we suffer as a nation,” he said.
Saraki specifically appealed to the security agencies deployed for the poll, officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), candidates, political parties and the electorate to adhere strictly to rules and regulations underpinning the conduct of elections so as to prevent any breakdown of law and order.
He specifically urged the security agencies to be civil and firm in dealing with the people, INEC officials to ensure free, fair and credible elections and the people of Rivers State to be peaceful and orderly before, during and after the elections.
“There is certainly nothing we can gain from attacking our brothers and sisters during an election. Besides, no meaningful development can evolve in an atmosphere devoid of peace.
“This is the more reason every stakeholder in the Rivers State rerun elections should contribute to ensure peace so that those who will emerge from the elections as representatives of the people can find an environment conducive enough to serve the people,” he stated.