In an effort to ensure free, fair, credible and peaceful election in what has been described as the political hot spots of the current general election, the INEC chairman, prof. Jega has appealed for peace. The chairman described the state as having the highest incident of electoral violence during the presidential election.
According to Jega, ‘we witnessed highest incident of violence and burning of INEC offices in Benue state. The level of disruption of the electoral process witnessed in Benue state is not comparable to any other that we have seen in the last election. That is why I feel the need to come here to appeal to stakeholders for peace. Close to 200 card readers were destroyed in one local government alone, but I have come with more card readers.
Before the chairman’s address, the state REC Prof Istifanus Dafwang had expressed doubt as the determination of the parties to hold a violence free election. According to him, ‘we don’t know what will happen this Saturday. The REC blamed the government for the spate of violence during the last presidential election as he said the people have lost faith in government. There are speculations that the political parties have recruited thugs in preparation for the Saturday’s elections.
‘It is disingenuous to accuse everyone who calls for restructuring as trying to break up the county. History tells us that that kind of cheap blackmail will not work as long as the underlying reasons for the agitations persist.’
‘The biggest challenge seems to be that we seem to be allowing moderate voices on this issue to be drowned out by the reckless utterances of a few rabble rousers on all sides who may be tools in the hands of those who do not wish this country well. These are some of the people who arrogate to themselves the toga of spokespersons of our diverse groups.’
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