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Kogi, Bayelsa polls: Buhari wants transparency, fairness

President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has called for exemplary conduct of non-partisanship on the part of election and law enforcement officials during Saturday’s governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.

President Buhari, who made the call on Thursday in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said all must carry out their functions with fairness and transparency without let or hindrance and without fear or favour.

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The president, who also called on voters in Bayelsa and Kogi states to exercise their franchise in a peaceful and orderly manner and in line with the law in all situations, said law enforcement officials must ensure that citizens were allowed to vote without harassment and intimidation.

He said any attempt to steal or hijack ballots must be stopped using all legal means.

He said: “On Saturday, November 16, voters in two states, Bayelsa and Kogi, will be left alone to decide who takes charge of the administration of their important states for the next four years.

“Since the ban on campaigns was lifted a few weeks ago, their citizens have been called to attend political rallies of various hues and were bombarded with advertising on bill boards, radio and TV; texts, tweets, WhatsApp and Facebook posts in campaigns that sadly, have so far recorded not a few uninspiring incidents of violence and of intemperate use of language.

“In all democratic elections, there are bound to be winners and losers and the elections in Bayelsa and Kogi will not be different. All candidates should be ready to accept the outcomes and wherever they are dissatisfied, they should follow the due process of the law in seeking redress. There must not be a resort to self-help.”

The president wished the two states and their people a safe and credible exercise as they voted in what he called the historic and suspenseful elections.

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