*Challenge of credible election, a task for all Nigerians-Oshiomhole
BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN CITY – AS the much awaited general elections kicked off this weekend, former Head of State and Presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), yesterday, called on Nigerians to hold President Goodluck Jonathan responsible if the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, failed to conduct free and fair elections.
He recalled that President Jonathan had pledged before the international community that the legacy he would want to leave before Nigerians was to conduct free and fair election.
Buhari stated this yesterday at Government House, Benin when he paid a courtesy visit to Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State as part of his presidential campaign activities in the state. He was accompanied by the national chairman of the party, Prince Tony Momoh; his running mate, Pastor Tunde Bakare and his wife; the state chairman of the party, Godwin Erahon and other national leaders of the party.
According to him, “we are so much pressed for time and space because we are a new party … but the important thing for us now is what our boss, Mr President, said in his first outing when he met the President of the United States, President Barack Obama and on his second outing again in the United Nations where he said if there is one thing he would like to do is to conduct a free and fair election.
“The CPC is holding him to that but all the same, we are not absolutely sitting down, we are mobilising all our supporters and indeed all Nigerians that this time around, they must insist that their votes count, there is nothing wrong with that and we are very pleased about that.”
He assured Nigerians that his administration would address the challenges of education, healthcare delivery and create job opportunities for Nigerians.
Oshiomhole on challenge of credible election
Responding, Gov. Oshiomhole said the challenge of credible election was a task for all Nigerians irrespective of political affiliation.
“We need to create an enabling environment which is a condition precedent to the much talked about commitment to one man one vote. For one man one vote to take place, voters must know what the issues are and they must know the candidates and, therefore, governments— federal, states and local government— have a responsibility if one man one vote will be a reality, to be seen beyond rhetoric to allow all candidates without any hindrance to go to any part of the country to present their case and to carry out imparting of ideas between candidates of various parties at all levels,”he said.
Oshiomhole narrated that “in Edo State, we are proud of what we have been able to do, namely, that every candidate is welcomed here and we must have equal access to the print and to the electronic media including government-owned media. Every minute they allocate to one party, an equal time must be allocated to other parties.”