Barely 72 hours to the Osun West senatorial district by-election, a civil society organization, Centre for Credible Leadership and Citizens Awareness has appealed to electorates in the district not to be intimidated by all forms of hate speeches being allegedly made by some politicians but come out enmasse to vote for their choice candidate come July 8,2017.
Addressing a press conference at the Osun Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Osogbo on Wednesday, the Director General of the organization, Dr. Gabriel Nwambu said that the opinion poll and survey conducted by its centre revealed that some politicians were threatening to win at all cost thereby sent fears into electorates’ minds.
Nwambu who said that an election monitoring centre has been accredited by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to observe the Osun West bye-election, noted that the survey’s findings further revealed that electorates now preferred to remain at home without casting their ballots on the day of the poll.
He therefore warned politicians against hate speeches capable of creating tension in the state insisting that “Nigerian citizens with requisite Permanent Voters’ Card and voting age should shun all forms of intimidations and come out to exercise their franchise on Saturday, June 8th.”
His words: “The essence of this opinion poll, pilot survey and SWOT analysis of candidates preparatory to the Osun west senatorial by election is to essentially promote transparent electoral system in Nigeria by providing an accessible, independent, interactive platform for election observation and results with a view to detecting discrepancies, voting procedure, voter education and awareness in line with our mandate as INEC accredited civil society organization.
“Most instances of bye elections in Nigeria occur after an incumbent becomes ineligible to continue in office. This could be due to a recall, criminal conviction, or failure to maintain a minimum attendance. Over four hundred thousand eligible voters are expected to exercise their franchise during this election across the 10 LGAs designated for the election.
“The atmosphere in Osun west has been fully charged with political activities. Major political parties contesting the election are the PDP, the APC and Accord Party.
“There are news making headlines across the state especially in the social media that a particular political party has all arrangements to manipulate the electoral process by subverting the power of the ballot and the will of the electorates.
“Our opinion poll has also showed that some politicians who are threatening to win at all cost including the use of violence have ignited fear on some electorates who rather than being hurt during election, prefer to remain at home without casting their ballot.
“We hereby advise politicians to play by the rules as the electoral management body, the security agencies and the observers are more determined to work together in ensuring that perpetrators of electoral related offenses are brought to book.
“Electorate and individuals who dwell in Osun west senatorial district as well the other LGAs and state are hereby advised to keep away from thuggery and snatching of ballot boxes during the election.
“Once again, we wish to advice our brothers and sisters that the long arm of the law would catch up with anyone or group of persons who attempt to circumvent our electoral process bringing to bare, equity, fairness and the rule of law enroute a transparent, free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.”
Packaged by Bunmi Oladejo