President Muhammadu Buhari has advised political parties, candidates and security agents to behave responsibly in the forthcoming Edo State gubernatorial elections.
The president in a message to voters, political parties, election officials and security personnel, reiterated his stance that, “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.”
According to President Buhari, “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 that “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.”
President 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.”
In another development, President Buhari has signed into law the Nigeria Police Bill, 2020. The President in a memo dated September 16, 2020, communicated his assent to the Bill to the National Assembly, through the Clerk of the legislature.
The Act repeals the Police Act Cap. P19. Laws of the Federation, 2004, and provides for a more effective and well organized Police Force, driven by the principles of transparency and accountability in its operations and management of its resources.
Among others, the Act establishes an appropriate funding framework for the Police in line with what is obtainable in other Federal Government key institutions, enhances professionalism in the Force through increased training opportunities, and creates an enduring cooperation and partnership between the Police Force and communities in maintaining peace and combating crimes nationwide.