BY PETER DURU, Makurdi
As the Benue State local government election holds today across the state, the Independent Election Monitoring Group, IEMG, has implored the Benue State Independent Electoral Commission, BSIEC, to avail all the parties and contestants a level playing field to ensure the credibility of the process.
The IEMG, maintained that when that is done, the outcome of the election would gain general acceptance by the populace and political party fatefuls.
National Coordinator of the IEMG, Bar. Festus Okoye who stated this yesterday while briefing newsmen in Makurdi, also urged the electoral body to exhibit high sense of professionalism and etiquette in the conduct of the polls in order to avoid suspicion and disputes arising from the process.
The group also advocated the timely distribution of electoral materials to designated centres in the state advising further that electoral officers and supervisors must also ensure that results of the elections were announced at the various polling units in the 23 LGAs of the state as directed by BSIEC.
According the the group, “The timely announcement of results and declaration of winners of the election will undoubtedly eliminate anxiety and rumours that can lead to violence”.
While noting that the country was facing obvious security challenges, the group warned that “we cannot afford to add political insecurity to the burden the country is currently confronted with”.
Okoye who was a member of the Justice Uwais Election Reform Committee, further cautioned the participating political parties to desist from using thugs as agents at the polling units in order to eschew violence and loss of innocent lives in the state.
On security, he said, “security agencies must be handed copies of the Code of Conduct for Security Agencies on election day. They must carry out their duties professionally and ethically so that the safety of all can be guaranteed”, he added.