By Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has warned electoral officials and security agents to be neutral while carrying out their duties during the Edo governorship election on Saturday.
He also warned parties and politicians to behave responsibly during the exercise.
The President, according to a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said though he is committed to bequeathing the culture of free and fair elections, activities of those in the field would go a long way to determine outcomes.
The President in a message to voters, political parties, election officials and security personnel, reiterated his stance.
He said: “I am passionately committed to free and fair elections, but my own commitment is not enough if other actors at ground zero refuse to abide by the rules.
“I want to see democratic standards in the country raised higher at every level, but these cannot be achieved when politicians resort to do or die methods to gain power by any means or machination.”
He said “the do-or-die mentality to politics is a threat to free and fair elections because the actors are more focused on winning than caring about a fair outcome that reflects the Will of the people.”
The President appealed to all political parties and their candidates to behave peacefully and respect law and order.
He also advised election officials and security agents “to remain neutral to ensure free and fair elections and avoid any action(s) capable of compromising the integrity of the elections.”
Buhari stressed that “conducting free and fair elections is one of my main concerns for our democracy, and I want this commitment to be one of the legacies I will leave behind when I depart office.”