The immediate past Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, security officials and the electorate that will participate in next Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State to ensure that the peaceful, credible, free and fair process witnessed during a similar election in nearby Edo State is not only sustained but improved upon.
Saraki, in a statement by his Media Office on Wednesday, advised the INEC and security officials to quickly do a comprehensive review of how it achieved the commendable process in Edo State and ensure that nothing less than that is repeated in Ondo State.
He said: “These isolated polls as we have in Ondo State next Saturday and the last one in Edo State give us the opportunity to perfect the electoral system. We must continue to improve on the system with every one of these out-of-season elections so that the next general elections will perhaps be the best the country has witnessed in the last 60 years.
“It is a good omen that the election is coming a few days after the 60th Independence Anniversary. INEC, security officials and all individuals involved in the October 10 election in Ondo State must present a credible poll to all Nigerians as part of the Independence Anniversary gifts.
“From the Edo experience, we have seen that when the process is free and fair, the post-election contestation and the tension they usually generate are easily eliminated. The sides that do not win will be graceful in defeat while the one that is victorious will be magnanimous in victory. This is how we can build our democracy and make the system work for the benefit of the people.
“So, INEC should replicate the transparent process we saw in Edo State in which results were transmitted electronically from polling stations to the collation centers and it was possible for all interested parties to monitor the returns as they come in.”
Saraki further urged the registered voters in Ondo State to vote for the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), who he described as experienced, mature, committed and brilliant professional that has the ability to think out of the box in finding solutions to the socio-economic problems confronting the state.
“I appeal to the people of Ondo State to vote for Jegede because he will faithfully fulfill all the promises he made to the people and implement the lofty programmes of the PDP. Let me also state that it is not too late for candidates of the other parties who share the same programmes, policies and plans with the PDP to drop out of the race and team up with our candidate for maximum victory and the resultant formation of an all inclusive government,” he stated.