The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has said that the election in Edo State was another litmus test for a broad assessment of the commitment of relevant actors and institutions to deepening Nigeria’s democratic experience.
At a news conference in Abuja on Thursday, Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim, a fellow at the centre, said it was the collective responsibility of political actors and institutions for the successful conduct of the election.
Ibrahim said that the character of the electoral process, and the credibility of its outcome in Edo State hold far reaching implications for the entire democratic process in Nigeria.
He urged the citizens of Edo not to allow themselves to be used to disrupt the election.
Ibrahim explained that the peaceful conduct of the forthcoming elections in Edo and Ondo states would help to strengthened the nations democracy.
According to him, political actors responsible for the management of the electoral process owe a collective duty to ensure eligible voters are free to exercise their franchise in an atmosphere that is both peaceful and participatory.
“The election coming up in Edo on Saturday will constitute a very important litmus test for the country’s commitment to the conduct of credible, free and fair elections.
” With this in view, the CDD in line with its practice of monitoring elections sent out monitors to Edo state for on-the-spot assessment of the pre-election environment in the state.
“Every Nigerian holds it as a duty to ensure and guarantee the conduct of free and fair elections in the country. “This is very important because of the role of Nigeria in Africa and the expectations that that role carries from our friends, brothers and sisters in African countries and from the international community in general.
“So, what happens in Edo state is very critical and that is why we believe and want to use this medium to appeal to the people of Edo to come out and vote, but to do so peacefully, defend their mandate and not allow those who want to scuttle the elections to do so.” Because doing so will be a set back not only for Edo state but the country as a whole and for our reputation abroad,” he said.
Also, Ms Idayat Hassan, CDD Director- General, said that the expectation, in line with the hopes of citizens in the state and across Nigeria, was to have a credible elections whose process would be transparent.